In view of continuous tussle, the central government should undo the 69th constitutional amendment, dissolve the Delhi assembly and revert back to the pre 1991 situation. This is long overdue, writes former IAS officer V S Pandey
As per the dictionary meaning “A model of a system or process is a theoretical description that can help you understand how the system or process works, or how it might work.” So by definition any model must have its system and processes well defined , clearly laid out and explained to deliver optimally.
About a decade ago the nation was introduced to the “Gujrat model” of development , which was sold successfully by the powers that be. What happened to the Gujrat model of governance is not a subject of debate even today – despite absence of the total transformation it promised. Electoral succcess has spawned yet another model of governance- the “Delhi model” has birthed and is in vogue and was successfully sold to the gullible people of Punjab in the recently held assembly elections . What does this model stand for ? What is its blue print? What has it delivered? These questions largely remain unanswered except for vague assertions about improving education, health facilities, free power etc. Every party contesting elections comes out with its “Agenda of governance” and that necessarily includes bringing about improvements in health ,education sector, law and order , removing unemployment and promoting overall development and particularly improving the lot of weaker sections of society . What is new in any of the models floated by these political actors is not clear to the aam aadmi, like us. May be one needs special skills and higher intellect to understand the profound meaning and depth of these models.
The newly floated “Delhi model” claims having brought about revolutionary changes and improvements in health and education sector in Delhi where the creators of this model have been entrenched in power for more than seven years. This seems to be mere rhetoric. Delhi , being the capital of the country and under the direct control of the federal government for more than fifty years and by virtue of being the capital city , was always bestowed with generous central grants compared to all other states and union territories. Delhi’s health care system was always miles ahead of others states and cities, and the same was true for the education sector. Delhi’s school infrastructure was also developed to showcase the country’s progress in this field. Addition of classrooms and improvements in other educational facilities have been going on for decades under various schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in every state of the country, under various governments. But unlike the other states and the earlier Delhi governments , none blew their trumpet so loud like the present regime, by spending hundreds of crores of tax payers money for an individual’s publicity. Unfortunately, the media itself is the largest beneficiary of this largesse, hence there is no one to raise the question about this humungous, wasteful expenditure of crores and crores to glorify one person – at a massive cost and to the detriment of public welfare.
People can judge and evaluate a leader and his party based on the facts available in the public domain but once the information providing channels get corrupted, it becomes difficult to segregate truth from falsehood. Public welfare suffers immensely in the bargain . There is hardly any honest analysis or honest information available to the people to enable them to do an objective analysis of the models of governance presented to them .Consequently, they are misled and befooled by the false narrative that is set by such politicians using the hard earned tax payers money.
The current Delhi state government is found to be in constant friction with the central government for years , pressing for the demand to have full statehood like others. The Supreme Court recently heard the petition filed by the parties in the matter concerning division of power between them. The matter needs to be settled at the earliest as Delhi is the national capital and hence belongs to the people of India -encompassing its vast length and breadth of the country. Hence the time has come to re look at various past decisions, including the decision to create the state of Delhi . After the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 came into force, followed by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, the Union territory of Delhi officially became the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Act gave Delhi its own legislative assembly and directed that the administrator thereof appointed shall be designated as the Lieutenant Governor (LG). The LG is supposed to act on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his council of Ministers and in the case of conflict between the two, the matter is to be laid before the President of India.
This arrangement needs to be undone at the earliest as all capital cities across the world , where the federal system of governance is in vogue, remain under the direct control of federal governments. Till such time the current constitutional arrangement remains in place, this unfortunate spectacle of federal government fighting in court every now and then ,over sharing power with a tiny municipal government, will continue. The central government will be well advised to undo the 69th constitutional amendment, dissolve the Delhi assembly and revert back to the pre 1991 situation. This was long overdue, but now the situation has reached such a pass that any further delay will be hazardous to our nation’s health. This will put an end to the prevailing unsavory situation of a whimsical minion wasting billions of tax payers money to project himself as the savior.
Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary Government of India