Arvind Kejriwal Meets Delhi Lt Governor After Singapore Visit Face-Off



Arvind Kejriwal met with Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met with Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena today amid a row over denial of permission to the Chief Minister to visit Singapore for an event and an impeding central agency probe into the national capital’s excise policy.

While Mr Kejriwal, who also heads the Aam Aadmi Party, or AAP, and the Lieutenant Governor meet every Friday, today’s meeting took place in the backdrop of renewed hostilities between the BJP-led centre and the government of the Union Territory.

“It’s important for Delhi that the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister work together,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters after the weekly meeting.

Last week, after the Lieutenant Governor allowed the CBI to probe alleged irregularities in Delhi’s excise policy in which Mr Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia was also named, the Chief Minister had skipped the Friday meeting.

The Lieutenant Governor said the report indicates “substantial” financial favours at the top political level. The new excise policy was implemented “with the sole aim” of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to individuals at the highest echelons of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia, the Lieutenant Governor alleged.

The Lieutenant Governor also accused Mr Sisodia of extending undue financial favours to liquor licence holders much after the tenders had been awarded, causing “huge losses” to the ex-chequer.

In the Singapore matter, after missing the chance to participate in the World Cities’ Summit, where Mr Kejriwal was scheduled as one of the speakers, the Delhi government said not only was the Chief Minister refused clearance for the visit, it also came too late, the Delhi government has said.

In a statement on Thursday, the Delhi government said the formalities for the Singapore visit were to be completed by July 20. But Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s response on the proposal came back a day later – on July 21.

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