New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday came out strongly against a Delhi High Court ruling giving primacy to the Lt. Governor in the affairs of the administration and said they will move the Supreme Court for “justice”.
“We fully respect the Delhi High Court but we have a constitutional right to disagree with their verdict and will approach the Supreme Court,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told the media.
“We will appraise the Supreme Court that the High Court ruling has put a question mark on our democracy,” said Sisodia, speaking in the absence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is away attending a meditation course in Himachal Pradesh.
“The verdict says that the LG is not bound by the advice of the Council of Ministers,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said. “If that’s so, why were elections conducted then?”
Delhi government spokesman Nagendar Sharma said the High Court had erroneously given primacy to Article 239 over Article 239AA and that only the Supreme Court can settle a Centre-state constitutional row.
Sisodia clarified that the tussle over the Delhi government’s powers was not a fight with the central government or Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. “This is about whether a government will be run by LG or elected representatives of the people?
“So who should the people go to if they have problems? To the elected representatives or the LG?” the Deputy Chief Minister asked. “The (Delhi) government is working and will keep working for the people.”
The AAP was harsher in its criticism of the High Court. It called the ruling “anti-people”.
“The High Court verdict has made a mockery of Indian democracy,” party leader Ashish Khetan tweeted. “It is an anti-people judgement.
“Would Narendra Modi have agreed to (President) Pranab Mukherjee running the central government after winning 282 seats in the Lok Sabha?” he asked in reference to the AAP’s equally sweeping win in Delhi in 2015.
Another party leader, Raghav Chadha, said: “A democratically elected government cannot be undermined. This isn’t a fight for supremacy but for democracy.”
AAP spokesperson Ashutosh said the Delhi government will move the Supreme Court seeking “justice”.