Budget halted only to satisfy ego: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi CM comes hard on Delhi LG; says budget will be presented tomorrow

NEW DELHI | Updated: 21 March, 2023 7:35 pm IST

While he maintained a very subdued tone after getting clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the presentation of the budget in the Delhi assembly, Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal minced no words against Delhi LG Vinai Kumar Saxena.

“After the unprecedented constitutional crisis, the central government has finally cleared the Delhi budget,” CM Kejriwal said on Tuesday, March 21.

Blaming the LG, who shares a hot-and-cold relationship with the Delhi government, CM Kejriwal said that the central government-appointed LG had halted the budget by making some observations, which are now being cleared just to satisfy the ego.

“We didn’t want to fight,” CM Kejriwal said, adding, “There were four observations that were made and we gave the reply. Now the file has been cleared by the MHA without any change. The budget will be presented in the Vidhan Sabha tomorrow.”

Delhi CM further said that the Delhi LG has no legal right to halt the budget made by an elected government. “The observations or objections were made only to satisfy the ego as nothing was changed in the file,” CM Kejriwal, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor, said.

“He does not have any legal right. We could have challenged it in court. But we decided to fight and gave answers to their four observations,” he added.

CM Kejriwal said it is the Supreme Court’s direction that LG can only do stamping for work related to three departments. “We are all elected by the people. How can LG intervene in all our matters?” he questioned.

There is no such rule or provision where the state government sends the state budget to the centre for its approval. It has only been a tradition, and that is why the Delhi government sent it, he added.

On Monday, March 20, MHA said it has ‘requested’ the Delhi government to resubmit the Delhi budget after the lieutenant governor (LG) raised concerns of an administrative nature.

“The Lieutenant Governor, Delhi, had raised certain concerns of an administrative nature on the proposed budget, keeping in view the fiscal interest of the National Capital Territory, on which the MHA, vide its letter dated March 17, 2023, has requested the GNCTD to resubmit the budget addressing these concerns for further action”, the Home ministry said.

Earlier, while giving a speech inside the assembly, CM Kejriwal said that the budget was supposed to be presented on March 21.

“You will be shocked to know about something that has happened for the first time in India’s history. Tomorrow, the Delhi government will present its budget before the Assembly. The Centre has stalled our budget this evening. The Delhi government’s employees, doctors and teachers won’t get their salaries tomorrow. It is hooliganism”, Kejriwal said on Monday.

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