Delhi power struggle: Congress blames BJP for row

Democracy has won, says Chidambaram.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who argued as counsel for the Delhi government in the Supreme Court, described the top court’s verdict as a “thumping victory for representative democracy” and blamed the BJP for “manufacturing” the controversy.

The Congress also welcomed the verdict but qualified it by saying that “governance shouldn’t suffer in the garb of hostility.”

In a series of tweets, Mr. Chidambaram, who had also held the Home Ministry portfolio, claimed that there was no such controversy when Sheila Dikshit was Delhi Chief Minister and Tejinder Khanna was Lieutenant Governor (LG).

“The present controversy was manufactured by the BJP and the Central government. Now, happily resolved by the constitutional court,”said Mr. Chidambaram.

“Why did the LG [with a fine track record] allow himself to be misdirected in law by his political masters? Whoever in the Central Government was responsible for triggering the legal battle should own responsibility, but nobody will,” he added in other tweets.

Lesson for Puducherry

The former Minister also pointed out that the top court’s verdict holds a lesson for Puducherry where Congress Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and L-G Kiran Bedi have had confrontations.

“The SC judgment contains important lessons for Puducherry as well,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

The Congress position, however, was more nuanced. “The Congress has been unequivocally maintaining that the decisions of the elected representatives must be respected. However, in the garb of a conflict with the Centre, none should resort to non-governance as has been happening in Delhi,” Congress’ communication chief Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

Mr. Surjewala said governance and the people had suffered after being “caught in an ego battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”

Left support

Mr. Kejriwal got support from the Left parties and CPI national secretary D. Raja called him up to congratulate him.

“This is a victory for the people of Delhi and democracy as only an elected government represents the will of the people,” said Mr. Raja.

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