Conflict Between Delhi LG and Kejriwal Govt Intensifies

Delhi LG Anil Baijal in a meeting.
Delhi LG Anil Baijal in a meeting.

The advice of Delhi Lt. Governor is to have ‘end-to-end’ digitization where the services should be applied online and also received online.

By Rakesh Raman

The never-ending conflict between Delhi Lt. Governor (LG) Anil Baijal and the government headed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken an ugly turn.

Baijal retorted Thursday to Kejriwal government’s public displeasure over LG’s decision on door-to-door citizen services that the Kejriwal government has proposed.

Manish Sisodia – an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and minister in Kejriwal’s Delhi Government – had alleged that Baijal is trying to protect the corrupt bureaucratic system in Delhi.

Sisodia was referring to his government’s proposal of providing 40 citizen services such as birth certificates, licences, and various registrations at people’s homes. He said that the proposal has been turned down by Baijal.

[ Delhi LG Protecting Corrupt System: Says Minister Manish Sisodia ]

But Baijal said Kejriwal and his colleagues have been misleading the people of Delhi by spreading false information.

“There appear to be a number of media reports on the issue of ‘Public Delivery of Government Services’. Unfortunately, many of them seem to be based on ‘misinformation’ spread intentionally or unintentionally,” the LG office stated in a statement released Thursday.

It also stated that a wrong impression is being conveyed obliquely that the matter was delayed in the LG office while the factual position is that the file on the subject was received in the LG office through Kejriwal on 18.12.2017.

[ Report Corruption in Delhi Housing Societies to Clean House ]

The file was returned on 26.12.2017 with an advice to reconsider the matter. In any case, the statement said, the department concerned had already gone ahead and floated the tender.

It was stated that a misplaced parallel is being drawn between the current proposal and E-Commerce. “There is no technology so far to download pizza and many other e-commerce products, whereas most of the proposed services in the government proposal can be and are already being delivered online,” it was said in the LG’s statement.

[ Also Read: How Delhi School Teachers Ruin the Lives of Students ]

Moreover, it said delivery of pizza and most of other e-commerce products can also not be compared with the documents proposed to be delivered through the ‘mobile sahayaks’ as the latter would involve sensitive personal information.

Further, unlike e-commerce, which is a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) transaction, government has to be more sensitive and responsive to safety and security concerns in the proposed system which would be a G2C (Government-to-Consumer) transaction.

[ Slavery Case: Labour Rights Abusers Run Scot-Free in Delhi ]

The advice of LG is to have ‘end-to-end’ digitization where the services should be applied online and also received online. This would eliminate human interface and discretion, and would be the most effective tool against corruption, the LG suggested.

“It is unfortunate, that rather than taking up the consultative route and considering a well intentioned advice, the matter is sought to be resolved through media debates and rhetoric,” the LG referred to the indecent campaign that Kejriwal and his friends have been running against the LG.

While this impasse has been persisting because of the increasing conflicts between the AAP leaders and the LG, people of Delhi are suffering.

Today, Delhi is among the most polluted and the dirtiest cities of the world, corruption is rampant in every street of Delhi while neither the LG office not Kejriwal government could control it.

Similarly, the education standards – particularly in Delhi schools – are going from bad to worse while LG and Kejriwal have no interest in improving the quality of education.

LG Baijal keeps making armchair policies which are never implemented, while Kejriwal is always busy in politics instead of governance.

Thus, the LG office and Kejriwal’s Delhi Government have made Delhi a virtual hell. The less said about the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, the better.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with leading media companies, he was writing an exclusive edit-page tech business column (named Technophile) regularly for The Financial Express (a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group).

Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

Photo courtesy: LG office

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