Delhi has become hostage to chikungunya politics, thanks to the High Court verdict which has vindicated the Lieutenant Governor for his stand to approve or disapprove any decision by the elected government citing mere aid and advisory role assigned to it.
Not surprising but the verdict has come handy for an alert CM who is undergoing a surgery in Bangalore amid curfew and fire over Cauvery water dispute, with his despirited ministers opting to miss the action and glare of the media.
When 5 people died and 2,000 cases of chikungunya were reported in just two days in Delhi, the blame game is going viral with the CM saying that he cannot even buy a pen with Rs.10 without the consent of the Lieutenant Governor is an ultimate show-down between the de jure and de facto powers.
BJP has blamed Arvind Kejriwal for all the mishap and asked him to quit but now AAP is blaming the BJP-led Centre for diluting its powers so much in the last few months that they were relegated to the advisory role at the behest of the Delhi Lt. Governor who acts on behalf of the Centre.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda accused the Delhi government of not taking enough preventive measures to avoid the outbreak. It is surprising to see how the Centre cannot take initiative to fumigate New Delhi through their Lt. Governor. Delhi slums are not far away but within its own vicinity that the Centre should have taken pro-active measures. “There should not be any politics on such a serious matter,” as Health Minister NP Nadda himself said.
Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain rushed back to Delhi and clarified saying, “We were thoroughly prepared to tackle dengue and chikungunya in Delhi. Measures had been taken 3-4 months in advance. The hospitals under Delhi government are separate from those belonging to the centre.”
But the final show-down came when BJP spokesman Sambit Patra asked Kejriwal to step down, that too in a specially aired broadcast on some TV channels. “Sir if you don’t have the capacity to buy a pen, as you are suggesting, why don’t you resign? If you say that you have no role as the Chief Minister of Delhi, how come the Chief Minister and other ministers’ offices spent Rs. one crore on samosas and Rs. 526 crore on ads,” asked BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
That was in reference to reports that Mr Kejriwal and his six-member Delhi cabinet ran up a bill of over Rs. one crore on tea and snacks, including samosas, for guests since they came to power 18 months ago. If this is true, the Centre should give out the details of its expenditure on tea and samosas and advertisements so far to counter the propaganda so that the common man can decide who is on the right course.