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AAP MLAs accuses LG of 'interfering' in govt's work

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New Delhi, Jun 08: With the ruling Aam Aadmi Party accusing V K Saxena of interfering in the functioning of the Delhi government, sources on Tuesday said that the lieutenant governor wants cooperation instead of confrontation and has underlined that the national capital belongs to every resident.

Laying emphasis on working in tandem with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he has highlighted that there should be "non-partisan, collective, committed and concerted" efforts for the development of Delhi, they said.

Lt. Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena

Sources present in the recent meetings between Saxena and AAP MLAs claimed that the lawmakers were appreciative of the fact that it was for the first time a lieutenant governor was "proactively" giving them time.

Saxena has so far had four meetings with 40 MLAs. These interactions are aimed at getting a perspective of the issues, challenges and concerns of the lawmakers.

"Despite politically partisan and provocative one-upmanship being exhibited by a few MLAs who came with a prior agenda, the LG has stuck to the single-point agenda of non-partisan, collective, committed and concerted efforts to be taken by all for development of Delhi and well-being of its people," one of the sources said.

Saxena has made it abundantly clear that for the development of the national capital, he will be working in tandem with the chief minister and had already had fruitful discussions with him on the way forward, they added.

"The LG has repeatedly stressed on cooperation instead of confrontation and underlined that Delhi belonged to every single resident of the city and addressing its myriad problems should be of concern to every single individual, especially those holding positions of influence," the source said.

The sources claimed that he was appreciated by an overwhelming majority of the MLAs for his hands-on approach "coupled with his earnest desire" to act as a facilitator in breaking inter- and intra- departmental silos and ensuring seamless coordination and convergence for better governance.

"The MLAs, many of them in their second and third term were appreciative of the fact that this was the first time that any Lt. Governor was proactively meeting and interacting with them," the source said.

Not only this, many MLAs were in for a surprise since the area-specific problems highlighted by them during their meeting with Saxena were addressed right away, the sources said, adding that they later communicated their acknowledgement to the LG.

Last year, the Centre had notified an act that left Delhi's elected government virtually toothless by giving sweeping powers to the lieutenant governor. Under the law, "government" means the LG. Under the law, the Delhi government has to take permission from the LG before taking any action on subjects that had so far been under its control. These include anti-corruption, education, health, social welfare, tourism, central jail, excise, some colleges as well as hospitals and transport.

The AAP has been levelling allegations against Saxena for meddling in the government's work and not focussing on the areas that specifically fall under him. On Wednesday last, the party accused him of intruding in the Delhi government's work.

The AAP claimed that Saxena had convened a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on May 30, despite the department not falling under him. AAP senior leader and MLA Atishi had alleged that the subjects of land, law and order, police and Municipal Corporation of Delhi come under him since he is a representative of the Centre, but education, electricity and water are subjects that come under the Delhi government. On Saturday, the AAP had again accused Saxena of interference and "conspiring" to derail democracy as he visited two Delhi Jal Board facilities and a sewage treatment plant, an action the Arvind Kejriwal-led party described as "beyond the LG's jurisdiction".

On Sunday, Atishi had alleged that Saxena did not act proactively on some heinous crimes that took place in the city since he assumed office a few days ago, but he had been "interfering" in the Delhi government's business.

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