Lieutenant Governor Claims He’s Delhi Government. What About Arvind Kejriwal?

NEW DELHI:  Arvind Kejriwal’s latest confrontation with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is likely to spiral considerably, courtesy a letter that declares Mr Jung is meant to function as the “government” of Delhi.

The letter – issued by Mr Jung’s office to cancel the appointment of the new head of the Delhi Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal – says the “constitutionally valid and consistent definition of ‘Government’ is the Lieutenant Governor”.

Mr Jung’s missive says Mr Kejriwal cannot appoint the DCW head without his sanction.

The letter will escalate the bitter turf war between Mr Jung, who represents the Centre in Delhi and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government. It refers to precedents in the appointment of DCW chiefs in the past, but makes no mention of the elected Delhi government.

Ms Maliwal, 30, the wife of Aam Aadmi Party leader Navin Jaihind, was appointed by Mr Kejriwal four days ago.

She took charge on Monday and had said earlier today about her appointment being cancelled, “I have no official communication so I can’t talk about it. I am doing my work. The Delhi Government has appointed me and if the Delhi Government takes back the appointment, I will abide by it.”

AAP has rejected allegations of nepotism made by the BJP and the Congress, saying its government picked the person best suited for the job.

Ms Maliwal replaced Barkha Singh, a member of the Congress, whose term ended this month.

Swati Maliwal serves as an advisor to Chief Minister Kejriwal on public grievances and handled his Janta Samwad or interaction with the people.

Delhi does not have the status of a full state and important functions are controlled by the Centre through Mr Jung.

Mr Kejriwal accuses the BJP-led central government of trying to scuttle his efforts at governing Delhi after his AAP wiped the rival party out in the February Assembly elections.