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Centre’s attack on AAP government dangerous for democracy: CPI-M

The CPI-M has denounced the “brazen and calculated” onslaught by the Centre on Delhi’s AAP government, calling it “a dangerous attack on the democratic and federal structure”.

“What has been happening in Delhi is truly scandalous,” said an editorial in “People’s Democracy”, the Communist Party of India-Marxist mouthpiece.

“Ever since the AAP government was formed after the February 2015 election, there has been brazen and calculated attack by the Central government to hamper the elected state government,” it said.

“The naked use of Central power through the Lieutenant Governor and Delhi Police (which is under Central jurisdiction) has more or less sidelined the state government and the elected legislature,” it added. Until recently, it was known that only three subjects — public order, police and land — were reserved for the Centre in the division of powers in Delhi.

“But in the 20 months of the AAP government, what has been witnessed is the encroachment and taking over of all subjects within the purview of the state government,” the editorial said. The CPI-M accused Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung of acting “as an agent of the (Narendra) Modi government”.

“The manner in which he intervened to remove the chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau in May 2015 and replaced him with an officer, chosen by him, indicated the clear design of the Modi government to neutralise the AAP government’s executive authority. The Lieutenant Governor further cancelled the AAP government’s order directing the power distribution companies to pay compensation to consumers for unscheduled power cuts.

“More recently, he has turned down the government’s order to increase the minimum wages for workers,” it said.

It said the “retrograde and flawed” Delhi High Court judgment of August 4, giving primacy to Jung in Delhi’s administration, had virtually reduced the Delhi government to a non-entity.

That judgment has emboldened Jung to ensure that officers in Delhi are not bound to obey Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government. 
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