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Now with assembly, MCD under its belt, onus on AAP to deliver on promises

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By Sidharth Mishra

If people in Delhi were awaiting a change in their lives following the results of the recent MCD polls, differently interpreted by different television channels, depending on their ideological loyalty, it was not going to happen. At least the uttering of the political people in the week after the elections do not give any indication for change.

Last week there was an unfortunate acid attack by stalkers on a school-going girl. The shameful incident was indication enough for the political motor mouths to once again get into a wordy duel. Aam Aadmi Party national spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that after the arrival of Delhi L-G V K Saxena, crimes have gone up in Delhi.  “L-G saab, you have Delhi Police with you and crimes are increasing every day. Instead of interfering in the work of the Delhi Government, you should concentrate on your work. After your arrival, crimes are increasing in Delhi,” he said in a tweet.

The other prominent face of the ruling party in Delhi government and now also in the municipal corporation, Swati Maliwal said, “Despite a ban, the chemical is as easy to purchase as vegetables.”  In a video uploaded on Twitter, Maliwal said “We have issued notice to the city police over the incident. The attackers should be arrested and given stringent punishment.”  The attackers have been arrested and the law would take its own course.

The question is why a notice to the Delhi Police only? Probably because it comes under the Centre. The acid are being sold by the traders in the city and trade regulation is under the Delhi government. What initiatives has the city’s finance minister taken to regulate the sale of acid in the city? Did the trade enforcement teams ever carry out any searches to find defaulters and lodge a case with the Delhi Police? 

The AAP leadership has to realize that the multiple authority system in Delhi was to stay and that they have to put their heads together and work with the Centre instead of getting into another round of blame game. Delhi is in filthy state and that’s an understatement.

Cleaning Delhi of its garbage and providing timely and adequate civic amenities is not going to be easy. In fact the task is much more than just a photo opportunity or letting loose an advertising blitzkrieg. Now that the BJP has said in unequivocal terms that it was not going to unsettle the AAP administration in MCD, excuses on non-delivery would be inadmissible.

There are several undelivered promises made by the AAP-led city government, non-fulfillment of which have been blamed rightly or wrongly on the lack of their presence in Municipal Corporation. That position has changed now AAP being in the charge of all subjects of administration except law and order and land.

Delhi, however, being a Union Territory would continue to have close monitoring by the Lieutenant Governor, as in the case of Puducherry, the other union territory with a legislative assembly and a cabinet. This system has been in place ever since Delhi was given an assembly in 1993.

The job of the Lieutenant Governor is largely of gate-keeping and ensuring that the powers transferred to the state government under the NCT Act of 1993 are implemented in word and spirit. The point of conflict starts here and Arvind Kejriwal’s almost a decade long tenure as Chief Minister has been replete with skirmishes with the Raj Niwas.

There have been Chief Ministers before Kejriwal too and they have worked with Centre administered by a political party different from state government. However, a working relationship was always in place. It’s time for the AAP also to act similarly. 

(The writer is Author and President, Centre for Reforms, Development & Justice) 

 

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