Mumbai: The Shiv Sena said today that the Centre should cooperate with the AAP government in Delhi and allow Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to work.
The statement comes in the wake of a Supreme Court judgement in favour of Kejriwal regarding the national capital’s statehood.
The BJP’s carping ally said Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have reined in Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal had he wanted to, during the tug of war between the L-G and the AAP government.
The apex court, in a landmark judgement two days back, had said the L-G is bound by the elected government’s advice and cannot be an “obstructionist”.
“The Supreme Court said the L-G cannot suppress a government that has been voted to power and do as he wishes to. At least now the standoff between the L-G and the Delhi government should end and Kejriwal should be allowed to do his work as the Chief Minister,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
The political standoff was not between Kejriwal and L-G Baijal, but between the Delhi chief minister and Modi, the Sena said.
“Had Modi wanted to, he could have reined in the L-G who was appointed by the central government. But the Supreme Court had to do this work,” it said.
The Sena said it doubted the L-G’s “interference” in decisions of the Delhi government will cease after the Supreme Court verdict.
“The AAP government came to power with a huge mandate (in early 2015) despite the Modi wave and the BJP got just three assembly seats,” the Sena publication said.
“There can be a difference of opinion on Kejriwal’s style of functioning, but people’s mandate should be respected and the Centre must cooperate with the Kejriwal government,” it said.
The Marathi daily added that the actions of the Delhi L-G, of not keeping the importance of his constitutional post in mind, have lowered the prestige of the administration and the Raj Bhavan.
“If the Centre thought Kejriwal was not working or was corrupt, it should have dismissed the government but not allowing it to function was injustice,” the Sena said.
“If you do not want those opposed to you (the BJP) to run governments, why do you even allow elections?” it said.
The Delhi government did not have rights to even appoint clerks or ‘chaprasis’ (peons), could not take policy decisions, could not call meetings of IAS officers and was not allowed to give them directions, the Sena said.
“This was a strangulation of a government that was voted to power. Thus, the Kejriwal government protested and AAP ministers sat on a strike in the Raj Bhavan,” it said.
“The picture (of AAP ministers staging a sit-in protest at L-G’s residence) was worse what happened during the Emergency of 1975-77,” it added.