- Lt Governor Baijal rejected a list of lawyers picked by Delhi government
- He approved a team chosen by Delhi Police, which reports to the centre
- CM Arvind Kejriwal has now criticised the "interference in everyday work"
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's decision to reject a panel of lawyers picked by the city government for cases against the farmers protesting against the centre's three new farm laws was "an insult to the people of Delhi".
"Overturning decisions taken by the cabinet is an insult to the people of Delhi. The people of Delhi chose the AAP government with a historic majority and defeated the BJP. Let BJP run the country, let AAP run Delhi. Such interference in everyday work is an insult to the people of Delhi. BJP should respect democracy," Mr Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Rejecting a list of lawyers picked by the Mr Kejriwal's Delhi government, Mr Baijal has approved a team selected by the Delhi Police, which reports to the BJP-led government at the centre, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
On Monday, Mr Kejriwal's cabinet had decided that lawyers picked by the Delhi government would become public prosecutors of the Delhi Police in the cases filed against the farmers over the January 26 violence and vandalism when parts of a rally organised by them strayed off agreed routes.
But the Lieutenant Governor rejected the decision of the Delhi cabinet and approved the panel of Delhi Police.
In a letter to the Delhi government, the Lieutenant Governor said that the matter had been referred to President Ram Nath Kovind, but since it is an urgent matter, exercising his powers, 11 lawyers named by the Delhi Police were appointed as public prosecutors in the cases.
"I want to ask what is the interest of the centre in choosing lawyers? If they have to choose the lawyers also, what is the point of the elected government of Delhi?" Mr Sisodia said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the Lieutenant Governor had powers to refer to the centre decisions of the city government that he did not agree with. But this applies to only "exceptional circumstances" and not "every other matter", Mr Sisodia said.
"They are using these powers in nearly every matter," he alleged.