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AAP Vs Lieutenant Governor: What Forced Kejriwal To Return To ‘Dharna Mode’?

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For the past four days, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three of his Cabinet members have been sitting on a dharna inside the office of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) in New Delhi. The deputy CM of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, and health minister Satyendar Jain have joined the hunger strike there.

The supremo of AAP, Kejriwal entered politics from the time of Anna Hazare’s andolan against corruption. The firebrand leader has been popular for his activism – and some people have gone to the extent of calling him an ‘anarchist’. But after leading the government for the last three years, who forced him to come back to this ‘dharna mode’ again?

It is quite unprecedented to see a CM sitting for a dharna, but to understand this, we need to know that there is a difference between the CM of a state and the CM of Delhi. Delhi is a union territory – and according to the Constitution, here the LG is the chief of the administration, unlike in other states where the CM is the administrative head.

Delhi’s CM Has Very Limited Power

The CM of Delhi does not have the power to even a suspend an official. If they notice someone not working, they are supposed to write to the LG – and only the latter will make the final call.

Any Decision By Delhi Government Is Not Final

The decisions taken by the Delhi CM and their cabinet is not final. The LG needs to accept the decision, only then will it be applicable. Moreover, Delhi assembly does not have the power to make a bill mandatory. The elected representatives need to wait till the LG passes the bill.

What’s Happening In Delhi?

For the last four months, IAS officials of the Delhi government have allegedly been on a strike. These officials have not been attending meetings called by the ministers, even though they were attending office and signing files. Earlier this year, there was an incident where the Chief Secretary of Delhi was allegedly manhandled by some MLAs in front of the CM during a midnight meeting at CM’s residence. The IAS officials, on the other hand, claimed that they are working but also participating in a non-cooperation movement of sorts.

Lists of meetings skipped by the IAS officials

The Reality Of LG’s Role In Modi’s Regime:

The question arises as to why such tussles rarely happened during the time of the Congress’ rule in Delhi.

It’s important to know that the equation here depends on the central government, as the LG is appointed by them. Now the BJP-led central government is well-known for its utilisation of various constitutional posts, the most recent example being the election saga in Karnataka. In Delhi, LG Anil Baijal happens to be a former IAS official who is close to the BJP government. In my opinion, the Union government is instructing him to conduct the state according to their whims and fancies – in a way so as to disrupt the functioning of the AAP.

   

The Political Vendetta

After coming to power, AAP has faced many probes from central agencies like the CBI and the ED. The LG has also instigated many probes by using the Anti Corruption Bureau. But none of the probes have been able to prove any misdoing by the intended target. However, the work of the government got affected.

 

How The Dharna Came Into Being

An elected government and its CM have faced these situations for too long. The non-cooperation by the officials has led the development work to a standstill. All of these reasons together forced Arvind Kejriwal to return to his ‘dharna mode’.

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Featured image source: Arvind Kejriwal/Facebook
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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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