The ongoing political tussle between Arvind Kerjiwal government and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung over the appointment of key bureaucrats is not a good indication for democracy. Since Governor and Lieutenant Governor are Centre's representatives, naturally the fight between Kejriwal and Jung is being seen as Centre-State wrangling. Kejriwal and his associates cite that being the head of an elected government, Chief Minister has power to appoint bureaucrats of his own choice. But as Delhi is not a full state, all the powers, including appointment of top bureaucrats, are vested with the Lieutenant Governor. Clear division of powers regarding governance and administration and the lack of coordination between the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister are the reasons behind current crisis. There are ambiguity and contradiction in the constitutional amendment made for the formation of Delhi State and in the provisions of governance in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Transaction of Business Rules). Since Delhi witnessed few occasions when different political parties ruled the Centre and the state, therefore no irregularity came to the fore over governance. Being the national capital, Lieutenant Governor is vested with more powers, including appointment of bureaucrats in Delhi. But at the same time the Lieutenant Governor will appoint the key bureaucrats in consultation with state government. If any difference crops up between Lieutenant Governor and government, it will be rectified through mutual talks and the former will prevail upon the latter. So far, no serious question emerged over it but now when different political parties are running the governments at the Centre and in the state, then disagreements have turned into a full-blown crisis.

Kejriwal's logic can't be shrugged off, that if the people have elected his party to run the government, how is it possible that he doesn't appoint bureaucrats of his own choice, but at the same time, he can't ignore the constitutional provisions. While taking oath of office and secrecy, he must be aware of the fact he won't enjoy similar powers in comparison to other Chief Ministers. His initiative to change the current provisions relating to running government in Delhi seems to be heading towards political fight. It won't be wise for him to create constitutional crisis by adopting the way of fighting. In the entire episode, the question is not that why shouldn't Kejriwal be vested with power of appointing bureaucrats but does his style of opposing any system maintain the dignity of Chief Minister's post? The appointment row has revitalised the age-old debate granting full-statehood to Delhi.  Whether Delhi will be granted full-statehood or not needs concrete and meaningful debate. It's high time to ponder over that is it justifiable that most of the powers related to governance in Delhi should be vested with the Centre? Won't it be wise that such powers be transferred to state's elected government in phased manner?

Delhi was a Union Territory till 1992. But when Delhi was granted as a separate state, limited powers were bestowed to it in comparison to other states. Delhi being the national capital would have been the main reason behind it. Today, it's natural to raise such question that why should Delhi's elected government have limited powers? Ultimately, it's question of aspiration of two crore people. Can there be different criteria for different governments in the states? These questions must be debated by the constitutional experts as well as the political leaders. Undoubtedly, Delhi is a special place in the country and the Centre won't want that this state is engulfed in political rivalry. But after 20 years, some of the Centre's suspicions seem to be unnecessary. The Centre must keep every state in equal footing. People of Delhi bear the cost because it's not a full state. Be it develop projects or law and order, Delhi has to bear the brunt of different systems. Almost every Chief Minister particularly Sahib Singh Verma and Sheila Dikshit hinted  at it several times and both prominent political parties, BJP and Congress, included it in their poll manifesto but no concrete initiative was taken in this regard.

Delhi government's demand of power at par with other states is natural but at the same time the Centre's concerns can't be ignored completely. It's not such an issue whose solution can't be found out. But for this, both the stakeholders must hold talks with open mind. They should keep in mind that if the top bureaucrats want to continue such condition for their vested interest so that ambiguity over governance persists? It's possible that bureaucrats have no interest in resolving political crisis in Delhi because bureaucracy always wants to have upper hand in governance.      

State government should reflect more political discretion than the Centre to resolve the ongoing tussle in Delhi. It must not give message that it has gone beyond the fight of powers riding on the overwhelming mandate. First of all, Kejriwal must understand that the path he is adopting for getting Delhi accorded with full statehood is not true. He is engaged in opposing the current system instead of championing the cause of full statehood to Delhi. No Chief Minister is expected that he adopts headstrong attitude on every issue. Kejriwal is known for reflecting such attitude. His image is getting painted as such leader who proves himself true and follows his own insistence. The emergency Assembly Session convened by Kejriwal after the Home Ministry notification on governance is being seen as a tussle. Kejriwal must present his views over full statehood seriously and under speculated system before the Centre. He must understand that his comment that the BJP wants to run Delhi government through its three MLAs can't prove beneficial in resolving problem.

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on May 24, 2015 translated by the English editorial. The author is the Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)