Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is still struggling to gain some control over the city's bureaucrats, today announced that he has approved the doorstep delivery of rations, overruling "all objections". The two issues were at the heart of his recent face-off with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, following which Mr Kejriwal held his nine-day sit-in protest at the Raj Niwas last month.
The matter was taken up by the Chief Minister at a cabinet meet on Wednesday evening, hours after the Supreme Court declared that the Lieutenant Governor's approval was not needed in issues that were not linked to land, police and public order.
This morning, Mr Kejriwal tweeted:
Approved Doorstep Delivery of Rations. Over ruled all objections to the proposal. Directed Food Dept to start its implementation immediately.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 6, 2018
A later tweet read:
Directed dept to keep me informed of daily progress https://t.co/csyYR8XdlH— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 6, 2018
The other issue - of the Chief Minister approving transfers of bureaucrats - is still undecided. The bureaucrats have refused to accept a new rule for it signed off deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The Chief Minister is expected to meet Lieutenant Governor Baijal this afternoon to discuss the situation in Delhi after the Supreme Court verdict.
The Arvind Kejriwal government had envisaged the last mile delivery of rations as a way to weed out some persistent problems - including theft of rations, poor quality of supplies and closure of shops.
But the Lieutenant Governor Governor had objected to the ambitious proposal, asking the government to consult the Centre before executing it.
Fuming, Arvind Kejriwal had called it an instance of "petty politics" obstructing an important project.
Barely three months later, in June, the Centre told states to deliver ration to the doorsteps of PDS beneficiaries who are unable to visit Fair Price Shops.