No constitutional breakdown in Delhi, asserts Dikshit

Friday, November 26, 2010

NEW DELHI - Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Friday objected to Leader of Opposition V.K. Malhotra’s comment that constitutional break-down is haunting the national capital, saying the statement was “misleading”.

In an unprecedented move, Dikshit Thursday criticised Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna for his “interference” in the working of an elected government.

Malhotra raised the issue when the assembly met for the third day Friday and said there was a constitutional breakdown in the state.

Replying to this, Dikshit said the legitimate powers of the city government are being “eroded, diluted, encroached or vetoed”. She pointed out that all this started with an administrative order issued in 2002 by union home ministry during the regime of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

However, the chief minister termed the present situation arising out of the lt. governor’s refusal to assent the circle rates decision of the Delhi cabinet as an “impasse” which could be easily resolved.

She said the impasse on circle rates issue has resulted in a loss of Rs.3 crore on a daily basis to the state government’s exchequer. “The question now is that who will fulfill this huge loss,” she added.

Later, Malhotra said the manner in which Dikshit castigated Khanna, the union home minister, the urban development minister and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in the assembly, only exemplifies her “arrogance, frustration and disappointment” with her own government.

He also underlined that criticism of Khanna by Dikshit is a direct attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as they have appointed Khanna as the lt. governor.

However, Malhotra said if the chief minister “sincerely” fights for full statehood for Delhi with her own party’s rule at the centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would extend its support to her on the issue.

Khanna has so far returned twice the government’s decision to hike circle rates of properties.

Refusing to sign the cabinet’s decision on the land rates, Khanna has twice returned the related file to the cabinet, asking it to reconsider its decision.

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