Governers, LGs Obstructing Elected Governments' Work: Arvind Kejriwal

"On the 74th Republic day, we need to ponder how to save democracy from these Laat Sahibs (governors/LGs)," Kejriwal said at a Republic Day function here organised by the Delhi government.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday alleged that several states were being harassed with Centre-appointed Governors and LGs obstructing the elected government's work, and wondered whether a "dark shadow" was looming over democracy in the country.

"On the 74th Republic day, we need to ponder how to save democracy from these Laat Sahibs (governors/LGs)," Kejriwal said at a Republic Day function here organised by the Delhi government.

The AAP supremo also referred to the "tussle" of the Centre with the judiciary, state governments, and farmers and traders, and called for an end to such fights so that India could become the "number one" country in the world.

"These days, they are fighting with the judiciary. What is the need to fight with judges? They are also fighting with the state governments, students, farmers and traders. If we work together and learn from each other, then nothing can stop India from becoming number one country in the world," Kejriwal said.

Remembering sacrifices of the freedom fighters, Kejriwal said: "State governments are being harassed these days. It was not for this that our freedom fighters made sacrifices. Is there a dark shadow looming over democracy in the country?"

He alleged that Delhi has passed many legislations, but the LG is not ready to sign them.

"Can one man stop the verdict of the public? You cannot let one man hold the democracy hostage with a leash in his hand," Kejriwal said and called the conduct a threat to democracy.

"We have witnessed a peculiar situation over the last few years. An elected state government wanted to call the session of their Legislative Assembly but the Governor refused to sign the file. Some state governments appointed Vice-Chancellors but Governors there rejected them," he said.

Can an unelected governor have so much power that he can ask why an elected government wants to meet its elected representatives? he asked. "This is not democracy."

"We have witnessed so many similar instances in the recent past. Is this the idea of India we want to propagate? Is this what our freedom fighters died for? As we move into the 74th year of being a republic, the whole nation needs to ponder over it," said the AAP convener.

Governments elected by the people are supreme and no one is above them, he asserted.

Citing his recent visit to Telangana, Kejriwal said that the government there has decided to provide free eye check up and follow up treatment to 4 crore people in the state.

"We will also do it in Delhi. There is no problem in the country whose solution has not been found in some states. The state governments need to learn from one another for finding solutions to the problems," he said.

The Chief Minister also urged the Centre to exempt food items from GST saying it will provide much needed relief to the people in the country. He said that 99 per cent traders in the country wanted to pay taxes, and called for the simplification of the entire GST regime.

Kejriwal claimed that of all states in the country, the inflation rate is the lowest in Delhi, and cited in comparison the rate of inflation in BJP-ruled states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

There’s high inflation across the country, but in Delhi, thanks to the government’s pro-people welfare schemes inflation is well under control, he said. This is because, education, healthcare, transport for women, electricity, and water are free in Delhi, he added.

Highlighting the achievements of Delhi under his government, Kejriwal claimed that the city has left behind London, New York, Washington, Singapore in many fields including number of doctors, start ups, electric vehicles, per capita forest area, and education.

Delhi has become the health capital of the country, he claimed. There are three doctors per 1,000 people in Delhi which is more than what they have in America, England, Canada, Japan which have 2.5 doctors for the same number of people, he said.

In the last few years, the AAP government has installed 2.5 lakh CCTV cameras, he said.

Currently there are 1,826 CCTV cameras per square mile in Delhi — more than what they have in London, Singapore, Paris, New York, and Washington, he claimed.

"May our country progress and may all of us 130 crore Indians together take our country forward," he said.

The Chief Minister hoisted the Indian flag and also felicitated Delhi Prisons department officers Rajesh Kumar and Naresh Kumar with Presidential Correctional medals.

The music bands of Delhi government schools were a highlight of the function. 

According to a Delhi government statement, this was for the first time that an all-boys band from Government Boys schools in Punjabi Bagh and Pitampura participated in the parade.

-With PTI Input