New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and complained about Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Police, and sought his personal intervention to make Delhi “a shining city”.
But even as Kejriwal told Modi about a “corrupt” officer being named head of Delhi’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), the central government told Delhi High Court on Tuesday that officer M.K. Meena was “acting as per the law”.
This was Kejriwal’s first meeting with Modi since he called on him immediately after the AAP routed the BJP in the assembly polls in Delhi in February. Tuesday’s meeting lasted about half-an-hour.
Kejriwal told Modi that Delhi Police, which reports to Jung and not to him, seemed to be at war with the Delhi government. “This is dangerous for democracy,” he told the media later.
He alleged that Delhi Police tried to prolong strikes by transporters and doctors in the capital, giving the feeling that it was opposed to the Aam Aadmi Party government.
In obvious reference to Lt. Governor Jung, he said that whenever his government took out orders, they were declared null and void.
He said Modi himself had been a chief minister in Gujarat, and sought to know how many times he had faced such problems from the state governor even when the Congress was in power at the centre.
Delhi being a unique city-state, the powers to govern in the capital are divided unequally between the Lt. Governor and the elected government with some areas where the two sides are fighting it out in courts.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government had checked corruption through the ACB in just three months after taking power in February, and people had begun to talk about a nearly bribe-free city.
But on June 8, “a corrupt police officer” was appointed in the ACB and he took control of it with the help of paramilitary forces, the chief minister said.
But in its submission to the Delhi High Court around the same time, the central government came to the rescue of ACB head Meena, saying that contrary to the Kejriwal government’s claim, the officer was “acting as per the law”.
Kejriwal said the prime minister must cooperate with the Delhi government to make the national capital a clean city.
His government, Kejriwal said, would make Modi’s Swachh Bharat and Digital India campaigns a success in Delhi — and Modi was free to take the credit.
“In two years, we will make Delhi a shining city” if such cooperation was available, he added.
The chief minister said he told Modi that “our political differences” should not come in the way of making Delhi “a shining city”.
For Delhi’s development, both the Delhi and central governments must work together, he said.
Asked about Modi’s responses, Kejriwal said he heard him out carefully and promised to look into the issues he had raised.
But Modi made no mention of his meeting with Kejriwal either in his or in the Prime Minister’s Office’s twitter handle.
The AAP too refused to give further details, saying it would not comment beyond what Kejriwal had briefed the media.