In the ongoing power tussle involving two constitutional functionaries of Delhi, L-G V K Saxena on Friday wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing him of making “misleading and derogatory remarks” and resorting to a “low level of discourse”.
Referring to Mr Kejriwal’s recent “sarcastic” remark, Mr Saxena asserted that he was not acting like a “headmaster” but working as a “benign yet conscientious voice” of the people derived from the Constitution of India.
The LG also accused Mr Kejriwal of “political posturing” during his march to Raj Niwas on January 16 along with his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLAs.
Mr Saxena said he invited Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia for a meeting but the chief minister chose not to come on the pretext of wanting to meet him with all his MLAs.
Given the short notice and sudden demand on Mr Kejriwal’s part, it would not have been possible to hold a meeting with 70 to 80 people at once, nor would it have served any concrete purpose, he said.
“Unfortunately, you went ahead to make a convenient political posture that ‘the LG refused to meet me’,” Mr Saxena said.
“I must mention here that I was rather astounded at the fact that even as the city is grappling with several serious developmental issues, you found time to walk for long and stage a protest meant solely for posturing, rather than taking the issue to a logical conclusion by meeting me,” the L-G wrote in his letter to Mr Kejriwal.
Referring to Mr Kejriwal’s attack on him in the Delhi Assembly two days back, Mr Saxena said, “As to ‘who is LG’ and ‘where did he come from’, can be answered, if you were to even cursorily refer to the Constitution of India, others do not deserve a reply, since they obviously cater to a very low level of discourse.”
The L-G also said he was not acting as a “headmaster” but was working as a “benign yet conscientious voice” of the people derived from the Constitution of India.
The chief minister in his address in the recent assembly session, had challeged Saxena’s authority, saying he checked files like he were his headmaster.
Citing media reports, the LG said, “….you have made many statements in and out of the state assembly over the past few days, which have been severally and substantively misleading, untrue and derogatory.”
Mr Saxena took a dig at Mr Kejriwal and his party legislators over their statements and protests, saying he was “glad” in the past few days they were “raising and escalating” the issue of education, teachers and training in the assembly as well as public domain through social and mainstream media.
The AAP government and party MLAs have in recent days mounted a blistering attack on the LG, accusing him of intervening in elected government’s functions over the proposal of teacher training in Finland, withholding payments for mohalla clinics, Delhi Jal Board and old age pension, among others.
Mr Saxena went on to list various “weak” areas in the education system under the Kejriwal government to help the chief minister comprehend the issues and deal with it.
He also cited a fall in state-run school enrolment numbers, low attendance of students, not setting up of new schools in the last eight years, “adhocism” in the appointment of thousands of guest teachers, among others.
“Contrary to claims that the number of students going to private schools has increased in Delhi, the share of private schools in 2013-2014 that was 35 per cent went up to 43 per cent in 2019-2020,” he wrote in his letter.
Mr Saxena also replied to the Kejriwal government’s allegation that its teacher training in Finland proposal was rejected by him.
“I did not reject the proposal…I raised a few queries with respect to the impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of such visits which have been going on for past few years, and asked the department, whether such training could be obtained in a more cost effective manner in our own Institutions of Excellence, like the IIMs,” he said.
The training in two batches of five days each in Finland was proposed for 52 primary in-charges, three teacher educators from SCERT, one vice principal, two deputy directors of education, a director (SCERT), and a secretary (education), he said.
The LG said his aim was not to obstruct teachers training in Finland and added that in the recent past, he cleared proposals of sending 55 principals and vice principals of government schools to Cambridge for 10 days each in two batches.
He also raised the “plight” of 12 colleges of DU, funded by the Delhi government, where salaries were pending and posts were not sanctioned.
Mr Saxena said his letter needs to be considered as one from a concerned Delhi citizen and not from the LG, and hoped the chief minister will take cognizance of facts in it and ensure remedial measures to rectify “grave shortcomings” for better outcomes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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