30 July, 2021

Delhi’s Class Jung

The social dangers of choking Delhi’s AAP Govt

Illustration by Saahil
Delhi’s Class Jung

The confrontation between Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung over who rules Delhi has reached the Supreme Court. On the surface, it looks like a war for control over decision-making between two governments: the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre and the Kejriwal-led AAP government of Delhi. The question is: should the first prevail over the second?

It’s not about procedure; it’s about policy. Jung’s attempt to deprive the AAP government of the power to choose its bureaucrats is an attempt to take away its power to govern. Kejriwal has not questioned the limits set on the state government’s powers by the Constitution. On the contrary, he wants to know under which Articles of the Constitution is the Union government denying him the right to appoint officials of his choice.

Kejriwal is right. The 69th Amendment to the Constitution assigns charge of public order, police and land to the Union government. It mandates that, of laws passed by Parliament and the Delhi assembly on the same matter, the one...

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