Delhi Musings: People pay to watch the LG and the CM play games at their cost
It’s barely been over a month since Raj Niwas got a new occupant and we already have charges and counter charges flying back and forth
We are all too familiar with the games politicians play but what we are witnessing these days in Delhi is a game at a different level altogether. Folks would often use analogies drawn out of sports -- largely cricket, in the manner in which our man AK would engage with the Lieutenant Governors of Delhi.
Dilliwalahs would say ‘the LG just bowled a unplayable yorker to our man AK’ or how AK is screaming a ‘no-ball’ to describe some of the taunts and reprimands by the resident of Delhi’s Raj Niwas. The game has now become more complex and those cricket analogies are falling short in describing the current duels between the new LG and the Aam Aadmi Party. Perhaps the fault lies with cricket for it is, after all, a gentlemen’s sport.
It’s barely been over a month since Raj Niwas got a new occupant and we already have charges and counter charges flying back and forth. The game is now akin to that of Ping pong. One side serves and the other side returns the serve with a smash only to be surprised by a quick, prompt return.
Consider this: A probe was initiated to examine if there were irregularities in the construction of temporary hospitals by the Public Works Department (PWD) during the height of the Covid wave. The PWD falls under the Delhi Government and it constructed seven such facilities to cater to the spike in demand for hospital beds and associated facilities. The LG had given his sanction to the Anti-Corruption Branch to probe allegations of irregularities made primarily by the BJP.
One need not remind Dilliwalas that we have a situation of sorts here with the BJP appointed LG overseeing the Aam Aadmi Party’s government and with all MPs from Delhi belonging to the BJP. The initiation of such a scrutiny at the behest of one BJP MP prompted the Deputy CM of Delhi to write to the LG urging him to withdraw the probe (a simple return of serve!).
Promptly this ‘return of serve’ was ‘smashed’ by the LG. He responded through a letter claiming that portions of Mr Sisodia’s letter were factually and legally incorrect.
A hard smash it was as the LG went on further to write to our man AK asking him to advise his ministers to refrain from “unproductive and poorly evidenced assertions”-- all this in the interest of good governance. We await AK’s response. And whoever said that letter-writing is a dying art needs to check out Delhi’s Civil Lines.
There is also this thorny issue of our man AK’s proposed visit to Singapore. AK was handed over an invitation by the High Commissioner of Singapore for the World Cities Summit being held in Singapore from 31st July to 3rd August, 2022. This is a platform where global, business and thought leaders share best practices and ideas for cities to emerge more liveable, sustainable and resilient. AK obviously accepted the invitation and his party claims that they sent a file in early June to the LG’s office seeking his approval for AK to travel to Singapore.
The LG is holding on to it perhaps taking his time to decide whether to respond with a top-spin or a lob. And the delay is rattling the Aam Aadmi Party which claims that not just this but there are other files too that are stuck with the LG. Some have been audacious to call it his lack of administrative experience as the reason of this delay.
The Ping-pong game continues. The tussle does not augur well for the ordinary citizens of Delhi even as everyone keeps harping on good governance. All that Dilliwalahs get is a ringside view of this game of Ping-pong. Irony is that despite being mere spectators, they are the ones who are destined to end up as losers!
(The writer blogs at stateofdelhi.in. Views are personal)
(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)