AAP Senior Leader and Delhi Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj has accused the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi of acting unconstitutionally, including the appointment of a pro tem Speaker. He stated that LG had not approved the name of Shri Mukesh Goel in a malicious manner in the last appointment of pro tem Speaker, and there is still no FIR against Mukesh Goel. However, this time, the Delhi Government has sent the name of the senior most councillor Shri Mukesh Goel after due diligence, and the LG should stick to the tradition & precedence.

The Delhi Government’s recommendation is binding on LG, and he has only two options: either accept the recommendation or send it to the President. According to him, it is a matter of shame that the LG is continuously getting notices from the Supreme Court in other matters, including DERC, Aldermen, Finland training.

The AAP has demanded that the LG should follow the law and respect the democratic traditions of the country. It further urged the LG to accept the Delhi Government’s recommendation for the appointment of the pro tem Speaker without any delay.

Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj addressed this issue in an important press conference at the party headquarters today. He said that it has been a tradition within the MCD for years that the Delhi government recommends a name for the pro term Mayor. The Delhi government recommends the senior most corporator for this position. Shri Mukesh Goel, a five-time corporator, is the senior-most as on date. Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj explained, “We had sent his name last time as well and have sent it this time also. The recommendation of the elected government of Delhi is binding on the Lieutenant Governor. The LG has only two options, one is to accept the government’s recommendation and the other is not to accept it and send it to the President for reference. It does not come within the powers of the LG to change the name recommended. But the LG continues to break the law.

The Cabinet Minister also said that there are many cases in which the Supreme Court has given notice to the LG. In the case of DERC, LG received a notice only yesterday. The LG received notice from the Supreme Court on wrongful appointments of Aldeman in MCD. The Delhi government went to the Supreme Court against the LG for preventing teachers from training in Finland. After this, a notice was received by the LG. It is not a good thing that in every other case, the highest court of the country has to give notice to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj also mentioned the last time that the LG had sent out a press release regarding his decision on pro term Mayor . Condemning the LG’s actions, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj explained how the Commissioner had sent six names and the government had sent one name for the position of the MCD House Speaker. Out of these 6 names, 2 names including Shri Mukesh Goyal’s name were removed with the reasoning that there was a case pending against them. “I want to tell the LG today that there is no case against Shri Mukesh Goyal. The media and the people of Delhi were misinformed by LG Office. This is unfortunate. At present also there is no FIR against Shri Mukesh Goel. There is also a case against Shri Om Birla, the speaker of the country’s largest house, Lok Sabha. How did he become a full time Speaker?”, he questioned.

Moreover, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj mentioned that two names were removed by the LG saying that the two had only cleared standard fifth and tenth at school. “But the LG himself had said a few days ago that ‘qualification is a receipt for the money spent’. Sometimes he says something and sometimes he contradicts himself. If there is objection in someone having only studied till fifth class, then the LG should have a bigger problem with those who failed the fourth standard!”, he continued. Furthermore, it can be said about the remaining two women that Ms. Neema Bhagat has an MA and Ms. Satya Sharma Sharma is a graduate. But Ms. Satya Sharma’s name was nominated as the Mayor because she had already been Mayor once. Here also LG was trying to manipulate . The reality is that Ms. Neema Bhagat has also been a Mayor. Clearly, this is because there is no such criteria and he made the pro tem Speaker arbitrarily.

Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj finally concluded that it is wrong to impose concocted criteria while sitting in the LG office. He made a request to the LG to accept the name of the senior-most MCD member Shri Mukesh Goel, sent by the Delhi Government after careful consideration. There is no case registered against him. In such a situation, the LG ought to stick with tradition. Democracy is still present in this country because people follow these time honoured traditions. The LG’s cry for morality is applicable to him as well. In such a situation, one must act as per one’s position wisely.

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