Bhagwant Mann resigns as AAP’s Punjab chief over CM Kejriwal’s apology to Majithia

On Friday, AAP’s big leader Bhagwant Mann resigned as the party’s Punjab unit president, a day following Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former Akali Dal minister Bikram Majithia for leveling “unfounded allegations” of his involvement in drug trade last year.

“I m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab …but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an “Aam Aadmi “ of Punjab (sic),” Mann tweeted, who is the AAP’s member of Parliament from Sangrur. The Delhi CM Kejriwal wrote to Majithia that he will withdraw all the statements and allegations made against him and also offered an apology, saying the accusations were unfounded. Kejriwal had accused Majithia, who was a powerful minister in the state government, of being involved in drugs trade while campaigning for the high-octane Punjab assembly elections last year when the AAP made drug abuse as a main issue in the polls.

Akali Dal’s Majithia announced that he has decided to withdraw the case against Kejriwal and another AAP leader Ashish Khetan keeping in mind of the apology. Kejriwal’s apology drew flak response from party’s Punjab unit leaders who labeled it a “meek surrender”. The leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira said on Twitter that “We’re appalled n stunned by the apology of @arvindkejriwal tendered today, we don’t hesitate to admit that we haven’t been consulted on this meek surrender by a leader of his stature”. The AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu also tweeted that the apology was a disappointment to the people, especially the youth of Punjab. “We in Punjab have not been taken into loop. Our fight for Punjab continues,” Sandhu said.

AAP co-president Aman Arora said that he was shocked and disappointed to distinguish about the apology offered by Kejriwal. “I still believe drugs would not have taken so many young lives had the previous government not patronised drug mafia. Our fight against drugs continues,” Arora tweeted.

Attack on Delhi chief secretary: AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal arrested for ‘assaulting’ Delhi top bureaucrat

On Tuesday, Police arrested AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal for allegedly assaulting Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash at CM Kejriwal’s residence last night. The sources confirmed TOI that Jarwal was sitting on the left side of the chief secretary whereas MLA Amanatullah Khan was on the other side. The police said that two had started the attack by hitting blows on Prakash.

Prakash, earlier in the day, had filed an FIR against MLA Amanatullah Khan and others for manhandling him. The Special Commissioner and chief spokesperson of the Delhi Police, Deependra Pathak, told PTI that a case was registered under significant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) concerning to wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, causing hurt, criminal conspiracy, insult and obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. The sources said that Jarwal was not named in the FIR and was recognized through a picture shown to the chief secretary. He was detained from near Defence Colony. The police added that Amanatullah has gone underground. A search is on to find him and others as and when they are identified.

The allegations went to the public after Prakash claimed that he had been “held by the collar” and abused in the presence of Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at a meeting last night. However, the chief minister’s office rubbishes the accusation as “bizarre and baseless”, but government officials are enraged, demanding an apology from Kejriwal and strict action against the legislators involved. “We had asked him (Anshu Prakash) about an area where people were not getting basic facilities like medicine, the chief secretary suddenly shouted ‘Maine Daliton ki thekedaari nahi le rakhi hai’, his temper was high,” Jarwal told ANI earlier. The Kejriwal’s party had alleged that the chief secretary was making false allegations and said he was working at the “behest of the BJP”.

EC disqualifies 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit, huge setback for Arvind Kejriwal

In a huge setback to the Arvind Kejriwal and his party, the Election Commission (EC) disqualified 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs today for holding ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President by the poll commission. If President clears the recommendation, then it means that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will diminish to 46 from the existing 66.

The controversy over the “office of profit” took place following a 30-year-old lawyer Prashant Patel filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office, pointing out the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The Congress party had also filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 to seek disqualification of 21 AAP legislators positioned on this application. Later, the proceedings were released against on MLA Jarnail Singh following he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to fight the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017. In March 2015, Arvind Kejriwal had appointed an MLA and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015 to immune the post of parliamentary secretary from the description of office of profit with reviewing effect.

The Kejriwal’s party had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no financial benefit being involved in it. The party’s efforts got a setback when President Pranab Mukherjee declined support to the proposed Amendment in June 2016 and the Delhi High Court set sidewise the order appointing MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. Commenting on the matter, the opposition parties Congress and BJP have demanded the direct resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as CM of Delhi on moral ground. “This must be the first ever recommendation in EC history where a recommendation has been sent without even hearing the main matter on merits,” the AAP said.

Who should have the final say, asks Arvind Kejriwal as LG Anil Baijal rejects AAP’s ‘Home Delivery’ plan

Following a day Lt Governor Anil Baijal gave back the AAP government’s historic move to home deliver public services, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal confronted him on Wednesday, questioning “who should have the final say”. “LG says digitisation enough. Elected government says digitisation needs to be coupled with doorstep delivery. LG does not agree. So, the question is – in a democracy, in such a situation, who should have final say – LG or elected government??” tweeted Kejriwal with attaching a news report titled ‘Doorstep delivery: Government says Baijal ‘rejected’ plan, L-G says digitize it’.

The LG Baijal’s office said on Tuesday that the LG has only “advised to reconsider the proposal in its present form and suggested alternative model to eliminate corruption and improve public service delivery.” The LG also added that digital delivery of services could be the “most effective” tool to eradicate corruption as it removed from the human interface, minimized delays and discretion. The Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also attacked the LG’s decision on Tuesday, saying that “Huge setback in Delhi government’s efforts to provide good and corruption-free government. LG has taken a decision without knowing field reality”. He added that most of these services were already available in digital, yet there were long queues in offices. Under the scheme, the Delhi government had decided to provide over 40 government services ranging from the grant of water connection to marriage certificates at people’s doorway.

Demolition of a State: SC Verdict on Delhi's Political Status

The Supreme Court of India in its judgement yesterday declared that the Parliament has full authority to make laws regarding any matters concerning the State/ NCT of Delhi. This verdict has the effect of demolishing the powers of the Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government, which had approached the SC for adjudication on frequent interference in the matters of administration by the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.

This marks a new chapter in the powers concerning the NCT of Delhi. The SC verdict out-rightly disrespected the mandate of the people by giving a perverse interpretation to the provisions of the Constitution whereby the Parliament has been given the blunt powers to overpower the State Legislature.

This judgment has very wide implications when the citizenry comes to face with the issues that have not been resolved so far. The blame will be shifted upon the BJP led central government for the failures of the Delhi Government.

The SC clearly gave riding powers to the Centre in terms of the lists contained in the Constitution whereby the State government are being reduced to mere puppets in the hands of the Central government.

The SC verdict is flawed in as much as it fails to reach out to the intention of the Constitution makers whereby they created a separate legislative machinery to manage the NCT of Delhi.

The NCT of Delhi has one of the most complex habitats in India which is faced with many problems faced by the developing modern world. The Parliament on the other hand has assumed wider roles, which are ever-expanding; in the light of this how does one expect the Centre to be ruling the NCT?

The SC verdict has also not been able to explain to us, that if the State Government has not teeth, then what will it bite on, which means why there is a state government at all!

The SC verdict has also pushed the blame of all failures of the Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government on the Centre, and the L-G, whereby Kejriwal’s calls that the Centre meddles with his functioning also stand affirmed.

The judgement needs to debated in the intellectual circles and the people need to be given with an explanation as to why do they elect representatives if the Central government is the ultimate legislative and executive authority for the NCT of Delhi.

The future of Delhi with this verdict assuming significance will bloom to one of chaos and anarchy only amounting to discomforting the general citizenry. The prospects of the future being brim, the masses will have to demand more administrative and legislative rights from the State to address issues like underdevelopment, crime, and general administration among environmental and congestion issues.


The L-G Cannot Stultify the Government's Functioning- Gopal Subramaniam

Though it has been a now almost the complete term of Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government ruling the NCT of Delhi, there has been a progressive spat of fallout between the Administrator of Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor and the elected head of the Government, the Chief Minister.

The power tussle continued only to be adjudged by the Supreme Court yesterday by a bench constituting of Justice(s) AM Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, AK Sikri, Ashok Bhushan along with the CJ Dipak Misra.

The counsel for the Delhi Government argued that the actions of the L-G cannot amount to stultifying the government that is elected by the people. The counsel asserted that the public servants were only answering to the executive head of the state while denying any authority to the legislative head of the state.

This fact though very well-known in the legal spheres, the Court should have considered the veracity of the statute giving Delhi partial statehood. The state of Delhi as of today may not be a full state but the fact deserves a value judgement.

The Hon’ble Judges relied on the fact that the Constitution makers would have foreseen the collegiality of the Constitution, the reason why they formulated provisions of Article (s) 239 and 239 AA. They also stressed that though the Articles envisaged a scheme where the real authority seemed to emanate from the L-G, the L-G was still an appointee of the President, who is the ultimate source of power which the L-G exercises.

The arguments and the rationale seems to obliterate the whole process of conducting elections and appointing a government in the NCT of Delhi. It remains a very sane argument that when the elected representatives have no say over the executive, and they exercise no police force, where does the power of being the legislators lie in Delhi.

The Kejriwal government has been accusing the BJP of trying to subvert the Constitutional mandate by trying to use the L-G as a pawn and with the SC taking a stand in the same direction, certain course correction needs to be done by the AAP legislators as well.

The Executive and the Legislative organs of the NCT of Delhi must not forget that both serve the same masters, the Janta, or the citizens of Delhi. The tug of war regarding who wields the authority and who does not mus not be restricted to the show of power between an elected head and an appointed head but they must act in consonance to further the development of Delhi.

The tug-of-war leads to the debasement of Constitutional values and our leaders must take immediate steps to resolve their differences.

The Articles in the Constitution do envisage a scheme which ensures a greater control for the President through his appointee but that is the case because Delhi houses the entire machinery of the nation. All the ambassadors of the countries and foreign offices are situated in Delhi. Thus the mandate to rule the national capital does not just limit itself to the masses of the Delhi, but the people of foreign origin who live their too.

The AAP government must ensure smooth functioning and the L-G must take note of the voices coming over from the elected representatives of the people. The executive officials must never forget that they also serve the same masses. The Court also opined, that not only the L-G derives his power from the President, he may also not sit over any controversial bills or decisions for an indefinite period of time. There must be a reasonable time frame where the L-G communicates with the President the points of contention between the elected head and himself.

The Court denied that there is need for any harmonious construction of the provisions of the Constitution but there has to be an assimilative process which the Court has not fully endorsed. The faith of the masses must be restored in their elected representatives because they need to know why do they elect them! The L-G must not unnecessarily interfere with the functioning of the GNCTD.

If the need be the Central Government must formulate an amendment and carve out a detailed list of powers for the L-G and the CM of Delhi, which will ensure a smooth functioning of welfare programmes and management of the NCT within a suitable framework.

The civil society and all the political parties must unite and demand from the Centre to take up a consultative process wherein they may tackle the issues and put them to rest forever, so that they never erupt in the future.


Arvind Kejriwal's Blue WagonR Missing, AAP offers Reward for Clues, no Amount Stated

The blue WagonR has been missing which was used by the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP to demonstrate its commitment to fighting VIP culture, AAP leaders facing an emotional crisis.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s blue Wagoner was stolen yesterday, his Aam Aadmi Party or AAP has offered a reward for the person who could provide any kind of information regarding the car that can lead to the hatchback, But the amount has yet not been disclosed.

AAP’s Naveen Jaihind, a senior leader from Haryana announces that  “Whoever returns the car, I will give him a suitable reward, which will be much more than what he will get from selling the car, I want this car back. There are a lot of emotions, memories attached to it, ” As per the current report no suitable response has been made by anyone but it is expected that they may get some clue as on the other place his offer may fail to enthuse a response because he still has did not disclose the amount he’s offering as a reward.

Mr. Jaihand lost the parliamentary election as had borrowed the car from the Chief Minister to campaign in 2014.

The WagonR, Yesterday, was parked outside the Delhi government headquarters by its current user – Vandana Singh, a youth wing leader. The Waganor use circulated among AAP leaders, Three hours later, at about 2 pm, it was reported missing.

The Chief Minister, tweeted to ask “dhyan kidhar hai”, upbraiding it for negligence.who tenants an uneasy relationship with the Delhi Police, the Union Home Ministry, one of many stress points between AAP and the centre. The police in the capital report not to him.

The WagonR was an image as an everyday man as well as it is an essential part of Mr. Kejriwal’s. During a protest against the police in 2014 in the heart of the capital, he held a cabinet meeting in the “AAP Mobile”; at night, he slept next to it on the pavement during his sit-in, a much-photographed moment.

It was donated to him in 2013 by an NRI supporter, Many AAP workers have been posting videos of him using the car. It shows that not only the AAP leaders but the whole country have an emotional attachment to that car. The Wagoner in the other sense represents the common man.

We can only hope that AAP leaders will get their emotional property soon. Till that time we await the good news.