Delhi LG Anil Baijal inaugurated the Sardar Patel Covid care centre in Delhi Sunday. | ANI
File photo of Delhi L-G Anil Baijal inaugurating the Sardar Patel Covid care centre in Delhi | ANI
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New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal Friday rejected the decision by the Arvind Kejriwal government to open hotels and weekly bazaars on a trial basis under a third ‘Unlock phase’ in the national capital, ThePrint has learnt.

Senior officials in the L-G’s office said the situation in Delhi continues to be “fragile” and the “threat” from Covid-19 is still far from over.

“We don’t think Delhi is in a position to get back to a normal life this soon. Corona(virus) hasn’t vanished and we cannot resume activity at this pace … Hence, keeping the safety of everyone in mind, the decision has been taken,” an official said.

AAP officials privy to the development told ThePrint that the L-G’s decision comes in the way of the Delhi government trying to ensure economic reforms in the national capital. “Hotels constitute a big part of Delhi’s economy and it is important to also ensure people do not lose their livelihood,” a senior party official said.

The decision sets up another issue of conflict between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-run Delhi government and the L-G, who is appointed by the Centre.

The Delhi government Thursday decided to end night curfew and allow more economic activities and resume normal functioning of hospitality services. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the government was going to allow weekly markets on a trial basis for seven days with all social distancing measures in place.

Also read: Delhi Covid graph shows declining trend, but experts say it’s early to say peak has passed

Past conflicts

The latest clash of orders comes just a day after L-G Baijal overruled the Delhi cabinet’s decision to reject a panel of lawyers chosen by the Delhi Police to represent it in cases related to the February communal riots in northeast Delhi.

Baijal’s orders effectively endorsed the lawyer panel chosen by the Delhi Police instead of the team selected by the Home Department of the Kejriwal government.

The AAP government Tuesday had expressed its displeasure with the six names, saying the panel suggested by the Delhi Police could go against the execution of a “fair trial”.

The Kejriwal government has had many run-ins with the office of the L-G since he came to power in 2015. That year, disputes arose between Delhi and Centre over whether the L-G was bound by the ‘aid and advice’ of the Delhi government [under Article 239AA(4)], and whether his approval was needed for making and implementing policies.

Also read: Covid has exposed Kejriwal. He is no transparent, reformist or in-control chief minister


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