New Delhi : When Arvind Kejriwal resigned as Delhi Chief Minister in February 2014, he said elections should be held immediately. However, it took eight months for that recommendation to be made by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. His office must now disclose why, the country’s transparency watchdog has ruled today.
Mr Kejriwal quit after just 49 days in office after other parties blocked his anti-corruption proposal in the state legislature. The chief of the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP would later accept his resignation was seen as petulant by the public; he sought Delhi’s “forgiveness”. Request granted, since, in February 2015, his AAP won a dazzling 67 of Delhi’s 70 seats.Right To Information or RTI activist Aditya Jain had asked the Lieutenant Governor to explain the chain of events between Mr Kejriwal’s stepping down from office, and the new election. In the eight-month limbo between those two events, Mr Kejriwal said politicians would profit from defections and horse-trading.
The Lieutenant Governor, whose relationship with Mr Kejriwal is replete with public exchanges of antagonism, had said that the information he passed on to the union cabinet was confidential.But the Central Information Commission, which handles applications under the RTI, has disagreed and said all relevant documents must be available to the public. The agency also stressed that advice on political crises, given to the Governor or President, cannot be treated as confidential.
Recently, the Centre insisted that reports submitted to President Pranab Mukherjee, asking for the states of Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh to be placed under the rule of the Centre, must be treated confidentially. In both hill states, Congress governments were removed. In Uttarakhand, the Congress won its case in the Supreme Court and is back in power. The Arunachal government is run by former Congress members who rebelled against the party and are now supported by the BJP.