Arvind Kejriwal's Party Must Surrender Its Office, Says Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

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Arvind Kejriwal's Party Must Surrender Its Office, Says Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi's Lt Governor Anil Baijal reportedly cancelled land allotted to AAP headquarter. (File)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Lieutenant Governor cancels land allotted to AAP for Delhi office
  2. 3-member committee said land deal did not follow needed process
  3. AAP says these are attempts to slander it before local election
The Aam Aadmi Party has been told that it must surrender its office in Delhi, where it is serving a second term in power. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has reportedly cancelled the land allotted to the party for its headquarter. His decision comes after a committee said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government have cleared policies and implemented decisions without following the process required for a Union Territory like the capital, which is in part controlled by the centre and the Lieutenant Governor, who is its representative.

A three-member committee headed by former national auditor VK Shunglu said this week that its examination of hundreds of files and decisions revealed that Mr Kejriwal's government had failed to consult the Lieutenant Governor for important decisions on subjects on which, by law, he must be consulted.

The Aam Admi Party or AAP says that ahead of Delhi's municipal corporation election, a spurt of controversies are being generated to slander it. The election, to be held on April 23, will serve as a mid-term test of Mr Kejriwal's popularity. In 2015, Mr Kejriwal was forgiven his abrupt resignation after just 49 days in office and re-elected with a dream majority - he lost just three seats. Since then, he says, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been looking to get even, because the BJP lost the capital months after the PM led the party to a huge victory in the general election of 2014.

The Shunglu Committee, which has indicted Mr Kejriwal on an omnibus of issues, was created by the last Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung, whose term was marked by unremitting confrontation with Mr Kejriwal's administration, which accused him of working "as an agent of the BJP" to allow the centre to control a city that had rejected it in the last election in 2015.

The panel said the decision to allot land to the AAP to build a party office should be considered "null and void." Before stepping down as Lieutenant Governor, Mr Jung had predicted that Mr Kejriwal could face "criminal charges" over irregularities exhumed by the committee.

Just days ago, the Lieutenant Governor ordered AAP to reimburse the government 97 crores for advertisements that allegedly violate Supreme Court guidelines to promote the Chief Minister and his government. That decision was taken based on the recommendation of another committee whose job is to examine how the centre and states are spending public money on advertisements. Mr Kejriwal has said the committee is biased because it is set up by the central government.

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