‘No papers shared, no blame to share’, Delhi L-G slams Kejriwal over water scheme

New Delhi: The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, V.K. Saxena, has written an open letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stating that not a single piece of paper was brought to his notice, officially or unofficially, on the supposed ‘water scheme’ of the Delhi government.

The letter begins by pointing out that all the departments associated with the water scheme, including Water, Finance, and Urban Development, fall under the direct control of the Chief Minister, leaving no room for the L-G’s involvement.

Saxena said that neither officially, nor unofficially, has any information regarding the scheme been brought to his notice.

“The DJB (Delhi Jal Board) is totally under your control… Take decisions, don’t blame others. You are saying that there are 27 lakh water consumer connections in Delhi, of which about 10 lakh have not paid their bills and you aim to benefit them.

“I advise you that if at all something like waiving bills, penalties, LPSC and arrears of 10 lakh consumers is being considered, the payments made by the remaining 17 lakh consumers, who have paid their bills all these years honestly, should also be reimbursed, along with interest,” the L-G said.

In a scathing rebuke, Saxena also dismissed Kejriwal’s accusation that the L-G is stalling the scheme as “white lies” and part of a pattern of deflecting blame.

He accused Kejriwal of scapegoating successive L-Gs, Central governments, and even government servants to maintain a ‘facade of victimhood’.

The L-G also put on record gross contradictions in statements issued by the ministers.

“In a post issued yesterday subsequent to a press conference, the Hon’ble Minister (UD) has enumerated a ‘chronology’ of decisions taken. The decision with regard to ‘one-time settlement scheme’ was taken by the Delhi Jal Board on January 13, 2023,” the L-G said.

The letter added that the same was sent to the Finance Department, GNCTD, for comments on January 25, 2024 (i.e., after a gap of one year).

Subsequently, the minister recorded his directions on the file regarding this ‘scheme’ and sent it to the Chief Secretary as late as on February 21, 2024, clearly indicating that the supposed ‘scheme’ was yet in the process of formulation and was far from reaching any finality, Saxena said.

“Surprisingly, the Delhi Legislative Assembly passed the resolution ‘BJP exercises direct control over the L-G’ on February 19, 2024. The said post, therefore, proves that even as the GNCTD was yet moving files from here to there, a damning unconstitutional resolution was passed,” the letter read.

Saxena said that moreover, if the ‘scheme’ was cleared by the Delhi Jal Board on January 13, 2023, as put out in the public domain by minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on Tuesday, then the assertion in the resolution that the ‘scheme’ was approved by the Delhi Jal Board on June 13, 2023 amounts to severe breach of privilege of the entire House, wherein the mover MLA of the resolution, who is also the Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, has deliberately misled the entire House and his own party colleagues, who passed this resolution,” the L-G said.

“The timing of this manipulated false political exercise makes it obvious that it has been undertaken to deviously distract and divert the attention of the people of Delhi from the abject failures on GNCTD’s part in addressing critical issues facing the people of Delhi and charges of corruption that are being probed,” he added.

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