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Tussle Between Delhi LG VK Saxena And CM Arvind Kejriwal Rages On

The fresh tussle started after Delhi LG VK Saxena shot off a letter to CM Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of ‘political posturing’ during his march to Raj Niwas on January 16 along with his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLAs.

Arvind Kejriwal at Delhi Assembly
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In a fresh war of words, Lt Governor V K Saxena on Friday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of making "misleading and derogatory" remarks against him, prompting the AAP leader to hit back, saying he should focus on improving the law and order situation to prevent another Kanjhawla-like incident. 

Noting that the sun and the moon operate in their own space for the universe to function properly, Kejriwal urged Saxena to allow him to work so that the system in Delhi functions smoothly.

The fresh tussle started after Saxena shot off a letter to Kejriwal, accusing him of "political posturing" during his march to Raj Niwas on January 16 along with his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP MLAs. The LG also invited the Delhi CM for a meeting.     

In response, Kejriwal thanked Saxena for the invitation and sought a meeting on Saturday, saying he would be accompanied by his ministers and MLAs. 

In the letter, Saxena said that he had invited Kejriwal for a meeting but the chief minister chose not to meet on the pretext of wanting to come with all his MLAs. 

Given the short notice and sudden demand on Kejriwal's part, it would not have been possible to hold a meeting with 70 to 80 people at once, nor would have served any concrete purpose, the LG said in the letter. 

"Unfortunately, you went ahead to make a convenient political posture by saying the LG refused to meet me," Saxena said. 

"It has come to my notice through media reports that 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," 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 Kejriwal.

Referring to Kejriwal's attack on him in the Assembly two days back, 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 asserted that he was not acting as a "headmaster", as the Delhi CM had said "sarcastically", but was working as a "benign yet conscientious voice" of the people derived from the Constitution of India.

Saxena also pointed out several indices to flag the discrepancies in the education system in the national capital.

Citing statistics, Saxena said the \Raverage attendance in government schools, which was 70.73 per cent in 2012-2013, consistently fell year on year, reaching 60.65 per cent in 2019-2020. 

"Despite concerted efforts and a rebound factor, owing to the blanket closure of the schools due to the Covid pandemic between March 2020- June 2022, the numbers went up to only 73.74 per cent.     "It will be educative to note here that attendance in 2009-2010 was clocked at 78.06 per cent. This clearly indicates that our government schools are not being able to ensure attendance of students effectively," the letter said.

He also said the enrolment figures in government schools that stood at 16.1 lakh during 2013-2014, consistently came down to 15.1 lakh in 2019-2020 despite the growth in population. 

"Despite, claims of unprecedented improvement in government education system in Delhi, as per National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021, the performance of about 30 per cent students in Delhi government schools till Class VIII is below basic levels and for about 44 per cent students, it is barely basic. 

"Similarly, performance of about 33 per cent students studying in Class X is below basic and for about 30 per cent, it is barely basic. There is rampant math and science phobia among students of Delhi government schools and this results in the fact that only 21,340 out of 2,31,448 students studying in Class XII, are in the science stream," he said.

Kejriwal, however, noted in his letter how the LG had severely criticised the education system in Delhi and said that the criticism was 'duly respected'.

"The people of Delhi have given us a historic majority thrice. In the eyes of public, we are doing good work. Your criticism is duly respected. No system is perfect. There have been several improvements in the education system of Delhi. But a lot needs to be done. We have a long way to go," Kejriwal said.

Had the Centre and different LGs not interfered, the government would have made more strides in the education sphere, Kejriwal said.

In the letter to the Lt Governor, Kejriwal alleged that Saxena was seen interfering in the elected government's works rather than the city's law and order situation, that was the worst.

"Every Delhiite hangs their head in shame when the entire world refers to Delhi as the rape capital. Crimes are increasing in Delhi. Women find it difficult to step out of their homes," he said.

He also cited the incident in which Delhi Commission of Women chief Swati Maliwal was allegedly molested by an inebriated man and dragged by his car for 10-15 metres with her hand stuck in the vehicle window. 

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"Someday if the sun starts to feel that the moon is not working properly and today I will do the work of the moon, then the whole earth will see chaos. The Sun does its own work and the moon does its own work, only then the whole system runs smoothly.      

"Let the CM do his work, you fix the law and order of Delhi so that cases like Kanjhawala don't happen again, only then Delhi's system will be fine," he said

Anjali Singh (20) was killed in the early hours of the new year day after her scooter was hit by a car, which dragged her for more than 12 kilometres from Sultanpuri to Kanjhawala here. 

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Kejriwal said there was anger among the people because of the Lt Governor's intervention in the elected government's routine works.

He said the people of Delhi felt insulted when Saxena refused to grant an audience to the chief minister and the AAP MLAs who had recently gone to meet him at Raj Niwas.
 

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