A day after the Delhi government said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asked the Aam Aadmi Party government to reconsider its plan to home-deliver public services such as birth certificates and ration cards, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked on Twitter, “Who should have the final say?”
The proposal is the latest flashpoint between the government and the governor, involved in a long-running power tussle that is now being heard by the Supreme Court.
On November 16, the Delhi government announced it would make 40 public services available at the doorsteps of citizens, with officials going to people’s homes to complete paperwork and collect payments. The government sent the proposal to Baijal for approval.
On Tuesday, Baijal asked the government to reconsider its proposal, and come up with an alternative plan as the current one could be a safety risk, especially for women, and leaves room for corruption and breach of privacy. Baijal suggested digitising the process, so that citizens can access these services online.
However, the Aam Aadmi Party government called it a “huge setback” to its “efforts to provide good and corruption-free governance”.
On Wednesday morning, Kejriwal wrote on Twitter: “LG says digitisation [is] enough. Elected govt says digitisation needs to be coupled wid doorstep delivery. LG does not agree. So, the question is – in a democracy, in such a situation, who shud have final say – LG or elected govt??”
Since 2015, when the Aam Aadmi Party came to power, it has accused Lieutenant Governors – Najeeb Jung and then his successor Baijal – of blocking the Delhi government’s plans for the city, and accusing the Lieutenant Governor’s office of sitting on proposals and schemes.