New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has made a scathing attack on Lt Governor V K Saxena, alleging that he was acting like a “tribal chieftain to appease his big boss” by “interfering” in an elected government’s work. Addressing the third-day session of the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday, Sisodia said at present the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi “simply does not care for and is absolutely apathetic towards the principles of democracy, the Constitution, and the decisions of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court”.
Sisodia, who also holds multiple portfolios like health, finance and PWD, said it is the LG’s obligation to act according to the aid and advice of the elected government. He charged that the LG does not have time to tackle the deteriorating law and order situation in the national capital or the land mafia but only wants to obstruct the functioning of the Delhi government. “But the LG says he does not believe in the elected government at all,” he said.
“The Lt Governor has forgotten that he is not supposed to behave like the chieftain of some unruly clan (kabile ka sardar). He has been appointed to a constitutional post and owes a responsibility to the same,” he said. Launching an attack on Saxena, he said the Lt Governor behaves like a chieftain that we see in the movies, who tortures people in the clan just for the approval and validation of his boss.
“Similarly, the LG is also working to please his Sardaar by torturing the people of Delhi. He has forgotten that his job is not to obey the orders of his ‘Big Boss’ but to follow the rules of the Constitution. “The Lt Governor has insulted the Constitution, threatened our democracy, and is in contempt of the constitutional bench of the Supreme court,” he added.
The deputy chief minister said Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution has given certain responsibilities and rights to the government elected by the people. In the second list of the country’s Constitution, the word local governance has been written on entry 5 with the idea that the right to take decisions regarding municipal bodies in the country is not with the central government but with the state government, he said.
“The LG must be made to understand that decisions pertaining to local governance must be taken by the state government and LG has absolutely no right to interfere in these decisions,” he added.
Referring to BJP MLA Vijender Gupta’s assertion in the Delhi Assembly that the right to appoint 10 aldermen in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was with the LG, Sisodia claimed, “I want to clearly inform him that the Constitution has in reality given this right to the elected state government.”.
Sisodia said throughout the course of history, the elected government of Delhi has proposed names to the LG for their appointment as aldermen, but now for the first time, the LG has decided to “unlawfully bypass and overrule the elected government, and appoint aldermen like a dictator”.
“He threatened officials with transfers and suspensions in case they did not follow his orders to appoint aldermen, and fearing this, the officers were forced to accept the unconstitutional order of the LG,” he charged. Sisodia said the government would have proposed 10 names to the LG for their appointment as aldermen.
“If the LG believed that these names should not be considered, then he would have asked the elected government to change them, failing which, the LG would take a subsequent decision on this issue. “But the LG chose to unequivocally defy the mandate of the Constitution, bypass the elected government and appoint aldermen, having absolutely no authority to do so,” he added.
Sharpening the attack, Sisodia went on to claim that the LG nominated a Congress councillor to the Haj Committee without her even having taken oath as a councillor, and by threatening to suspend officers.
The deputy chief minister said the name of a seven-time councillor was sent to the LG for appointment as the presiding officer of the MCD with the permission of the chief minister. “It is the norm to make the most experienced person the presiding officer in the MCD. But the LG blatantly lied and said that six names were sent to him for the role of the presiding Officer,” he said.
For the appointment of the presiding officer, the LG was to only give his suggestion, but bypassing the government and violating the Constitution, he decided to make Shikha Rai, who became a councilor for the first time, the presiding officer, he said. “Instead of sending the file back to the chief minister or the minister, he sent the file directly to the chief secretary and said if this order is not issued, he will suspend him,” Sisodia said.
The deputy chief minister said the Constitution has placed only three subjects under the authority of the LG: Police, Law and Order, and Land. Recalling the brutal Kanjhawla accident, in which a woman was killed after being dragged by a car for 12 km, he said the LG does not have the audacity to stand up and say that BJP leader committed the heinous crime.
“He did not have the courage to go to the victim’s house and tell her family that the BJP leader did something wrong. But LG will not be able to say this because he knows that if he says this for one person, another BJP leader will be found involved in the crime,” he said.
Sisodia requested the Lieutenant Governor to follow the Constitution and not act as the ‘Sardaar’ (chief) of any tribe. “He needs to work for the public, not to appease his Big Boss,” Sisodia said.
MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj moved a resolution for the free and fair conduct of MCD mayor and standing committee elections in the assembly, that was passed by the House. The resolution states that “This House resolves that it is concerned about the unconstitutional interference by Lt. Governor in the functioning of MCD especially the conduct of free and fair elections of mayor, deputy mayor and members of the standing committee.”
This House directs the commissioner of the MCD and the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to ensure that elections of mayor, deputy mayor and standing committee are conducted as per DMC Act and Constitution of India, it stated.
This House also directs the Commissioner of the MCD to ensure that nominated members in MCD are not allowed to vote in the House as stated in Article 243-R of Constitution and Section 03 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, it added.