CM accuses Baijal of holding ‘parallel meeting behind the back of elected govt.’
The Delhi government and Raj Niwas found themselves at loggerheads yet again on Wednesday after Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal chaired a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused Mr. Baijal of holding a “parallel meeting with the officials concerned behind the back” of the elected government and asked the L-G to “respect democracy”.
“Reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and future preparedness with Chief Secretary, ACS (Home&Health), Divisional Commissioner, Secretary (Health), MD-DMRC & other officials concerned,” the L-G tweeted.
In response, Mr. Kejriwal posted, “It is against Constitution n SC CB judgement to hold such parallel meetings behind the back of elected govt. We r a democracy. People hv elected a Council of Ministers. If u have any Qs, pl ask ur ministers. Avoid holding direct meetings wid officers Lets respect democracy, Sir (sic).”
COVID review meet
According to a senior government official present at the meeting, Mr. Baijal advised the Health Department to ensure commissioning of all PSA plants, LMO storage tanks and cryogenic bottling plants latest by August 31.
The L-G also asked the officials to make provisions for adequate buffer of medicines for treatment of COVID-19 and black fungus.
According to the official, the L-G expressed concern over reported violation of COVID-appropriate behaviour in metro and other means of public transport and advised the Divisional Commissioner, Delhi Police and MD, DMRC, to ensure that protocols are strictly enforced.
Mr. Baijal also advised the Health Department to widely disseminate the Graded Action Plan and undertake targeted testing at venues and sites opened up to ascertain the impact for further informed decision.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in a letter to the L-G on July 17, had alleged that Mr. Baijal was chairing meetings on matters in the domain of the elected government, issuing directions to officers of various departments, without informing the Minister concerned and pressuring them to implement them.
In response, the L-G had termed these “insinuations and statements” devoid of “any merit and without any evidence” and also regretted that the matter was being discussed publicly.