We go along well but differences shall remain: Najeeb Jung on Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has the room to "interpret" the Constitution unlike the Lt Governor who has to "protect" it and the AAP chief makes comments like "agent of BJP" against him for "political reasons", Najeeb Jung said on Monday, in his first response over the fraught relationship between the two.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 11, 2016, 22:45 PM IST
We go along well but differences shall remain: Najeeb Jung on Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has the room to "interpret" the Constitution unlike the Lt Governor who has to "protect" it and the AAP chief makes comments like "agent of BJP" against him for "political reasons", Najeeb Jung said on Monday, in his first response over the fraught relationship between the two.

Speaking on a wide range of issues, Jung said enforcing the odd-even scheme for fifteen days every month would be "very difficult" as it would put enormous strain on the metro system and the policing apparatus which cannot be "sustained".

On the issue of 21 AAP MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretary's appointed by the government, Jung said Kejriwal had taken an "risk" and "it was for all to see".

"By definition when we look at the statutes of Delhi, then the office of the Parliamentary Secretary is defined as an office of profit. Schedule 7 says that Delhi can have one Parliamentary Secretary and that's an office of profit," Jung said.

He said that if the Centre does not approve the Bill sent by the Delhi government to regularise the posts, the MLAs may be disqualified. "That is true," he said when asked if the MLAs may face disqualification

Jung, who took over as Delhi's LG in 2013, identified Article 239 of the Constitution, which makes the LG the "repository" of government's powers and the agent of the President, as the "heart of the problem".

Asked during an interview about Kejriwal describing him as dog, Jung said such language was unbecoming of a Chief Minister of Delhi and may be he was carried away for which he has never apologised.

He said many of Kejriwal's comments, including describing him as the "agent of BJP", may have "political reasons" as "he (Kejriwal) thinks he has a constituency out there which is attracted to these kind of statements but in all honesty we know the truth."

"His oath to the constitution is different from mine. His oath is to abide by the constitution while my oath is to protect and defend the constitution. The oath to abide by the constitution gives him the latitude to interpret the constitution.

"Till today I have not varied from a line or a comma of the constitution. So we have differences and will continue to have differences," Jung told in an interview to Karan Thapar of India Today TV.

Jung said on personal terms, he and Kejriwal go along well and that the Chief Minister cares for him.

"I think he cares for me. He has dined with me, I have been to his house. In don't think there is anything personal between us. Arvind is not a friend of mine but we get along absolutely well," he said.