Ever since the Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party has come into power in Delhi, it has been at loggerheads with the Lieutenant governor (LG) of the National Capital Region.
The fight has included instances like AAP hurling personal barbs against former LG Najeeb Jung by calling him a Congress agent and new LG Anil Baijal being almost held hostage by 45 AAP MLAs who camped in his office demanding that he clear some Mohalla clinic flies.
Back in 2016 the AAP government suffered a blow in this power tussle after the Delhi High Court held that the lieutenant governor is the administrative head of Delhi. It also quashed two high profile probes setup by the Kejriwal govt.
The AAP government though refused to accept defeat and knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. The apex court during the proceedings also observed that the constitution “prima facie” gives primacy to the LG in Delhi’s affairs but also stated that LG can’t sit on the files sent by the Delhi government for approval.
In the same proceedings, the centre has defended the Delhi High court verdict which declared the LG as Delhi’s administrative head. The centre told the apex court that the National Capital Territory belongs to the whole nation and one can’t say that it belongs only to the people of Delhi.
Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh also took a possibly veiled dig against Kejriwal by saying that:
I won’t take names. But the head of the local government says he will decide where the police commissioner will sit, where the Republic Day parade will be held
He as a result raised questions whether the national security and interest can be compromised. He also claimed that the union government has the supremacy as far as the Delhi legislative assembly is concerned.
He further asserted that a union territory remains an union territory even if it has a legislative assembly. He added that, it would be “undemocratic to say that the legislative assembly of Delhi will have the same power as the Union of India has.
It remains to be seen what conclusion the Supreme Court draws in this whole affair. It also needs to be seen whether AAP and the centre finally come to a settlement or whether the tussle would continue to grow till the Delhi assembly elections in 2020.