Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed Supreme Court verdict on the power equation between the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor, calling it a “big victory” for the people of the city and for democracy.
“A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy…,” Kejriwal tweeted soon after the verdict.
The apex court held that Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making powers, and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
Terming the verdict as “historic”, Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia said, “On behalf of the people of Delhi, I want to thank the Supreme Court, and the judges for this historic decision. They have pronounced that the people of Delhi are supreme”.
“We have not yet read the judgement in full, but what the court has said that people are supreme, elected government will be supreme, and LG has no power to act arbitrarily (‘LG ke paas manmani karne ki power nahn hai’),” he added.
Kejriwal’s AAP government, which has been in a constant tug of war with Delhi LG Anil Baijal, with the former and his cabinet colleagues sitting on a dharna at the Raj Niwas over issues approval for installing CCTV cameras at public places, Mohalla clinic, doorstep delivery of ration among others.
The judgement pronounced by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who was heading a five judge Constitution bench, also held that except for three issues, including land and law and order, the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.
Reacting to the verdict, the Congress, which is trying to find its footing in the capital politics urged both the AAP and BJP to ensure that the development of the national capital, which was “stalled” for years, gets started again.
“Since the apex court has clarified about the powers in Delhi, we hope that the development, which has been stalled ever since the Congress was voted out of power over four years ago, will start again,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said.
He also said that the LG and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should stop the “blame game” now and develop Delhi as the Congress did during its 15-year rule (1998-2013).
(With inputs from PTI)