Who Has Final Say, Arvind Kejriwal Asks, As Home Delivery Plan Is Blocked

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has returned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) proposal saying it has implications for the safety of citizens, traffic and pollution and also holds out a possibility of corruption.

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Who Has Final Say, Arvind Kejriwal Asks, As Home Delivery Plan Is Blocked

Arvind Kejriwal's government has been in constant conflict with the Lieutenant Governor.


New Delhi:  Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, questioned "who should have the final say" as he reacted today to the Lieutenant Governor rejecting his government's move to home deliver public services like birth certificates and ration cards to all residents of the capital.

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has returned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) proposal saying it has implications for the safety of citizens, traffic and pollution and also holds out a possibility of corruption. Mr Baijal has also suggested that most of the services on offer are available online.

As the hashtag #LGisNotElected became a top trend on social media, Mr Kejriwal tweeted questioning whether in a democracy, it is the Lieutenant Governor or the elected government that should have a say.
  
Mr Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia, furious, said yesterday that the Lieutenant Governor's veto was a "huge setback" to the government's effort to provide good and corruption-free governance. Mr Sisodia questioned whether the Lieutenant Governor should have the power to differ with the elected government on "critical matters of public interest" and "scuttle such measures".

Late last night, a statement from Mr Baijal's office said he had not rejected the proposal but had advised that it be reconsidered, and had suggested an alternative model.

Mr Baijal, the communique said, had suggested that the government shift to 100 per cent online delivery of services. "This is achievable in Delhi as 35 out of 40 services proposed by the government for door step delivery are already available online," the communique read.

The AAP government had announced last month that officials would make house calls to complete paperwork, collect payments, help with Aadhaar - all for a nominal charge.

Mr Sisodia had said the idea was to spare residents long queues for services like getting marriage certificates, change of address, caste certificates. The government had planned to hire an agency that would provide officials or "mobile sahayaks" for the services.

It was described as a first of its kind move. In the first phase, the government planned to cover 40 services and 30 more were to be added every month.

Since the Arvind Kejriwal government came to power in 2015, it has been in constant conflict with the Lieutenant Governor, the Centre's representative in Delhi.

The government has repeatedly accused Lieutenant Governors -- first Najeeb Jung and then his successor Mr Baijal -- of overstepping their limits and blocking the Delhi  government's moves on the orders of the BJP-led Central Government.

The Kejriwal government has gone to court, complaining that the Lieutenant Governor has been sitting on their proposals and schemes.


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