After court rap, Centre softens stand on AAP govt

After court rap, Centre softens stand on AAP govt

After court rap, Centre softens stand on AAP govt

Striking a conciliatory note, the Centre today said it will not interfere with the functioning of the AAP government, a day after it was hauled by the Delhi High Court over the "suspect" notification that gave the Lt Governor massive powers in some matters.

While affirming that there would be no interference by the Centre, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, however, said everybody should work within the constitutional framework.
"Everybody should work within the constitutional provisions. And I would like to add that Delhi government has been elected by the people and the central government will not create any hurdles in the functioning of Delhi government. We will also give them full cooperation," Singh told a press conference in Kolkata.

His comments came on a day the AAP government moved a resolution in the Assembly against the Centre's notification giving "absolute" powers to the Lt Governor on transfer and posting of senior bureaucrats and restraining the Anti-Corruption Bureau from probing central government employees.

In a boost for the AAP dispensation, locked in a bitter turf war with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, the Delhi High Court had yesterday termed as "suspect" the Centre's recent notification barring Delhi government's anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences and held that the LG cannot act in his discretion.

The High Court had noted that LG of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) is bound to act upon the aid and advice of the council of ministers who are directly elected by the citizens of Delhi and the Centre's "executive fiat" siding with him is "suspect".

It observed that mandate of the people "must" be respected by the LG of GNCTD if there was no other "constitutional or legal fetter". Singh said that the Narendra Modi government believes in constructive cooperative federalism.

"We feel and believe that there is a need for constructive and cooperative federalism. And that is the reason why we have increased the revenue sharing between the states and the Centre from 32 per cent to 42 per cent," Singh said.

The BJP, too, appeared to have softened its position vis-a-vis the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation, with its president Amit Shah saying the differences between the Delhi government and the Centre were due to different interpretation of the Constitution.
Apparently seeking to de-escalate the conflict, Shah said the Centre was not in "confrontation" with the AAP government and that the matter would be settled by court.
"It is not a confrontation but a matter of interpretation of the Constitution. The state government is doing it in one way and the Centre in another way. The matter will go to court and it will be settled there," he told reporters in Delhi.

He was asked about the Centre's tussle with the Delhi government over jurisdiction issues and its alleged "mistreatment" at a time when the Modi dispensation was going to town about its several measures to give more powers to states. "It is not a question of mistreatment. It is a question of different interpretations of the Constitution," he said.