Over 40 Aam Aadmi Party legislators on Wednesday laid siege to the Raj Niwas, the official residence of the Lt Governor Anil Baijal, for over six hours and accused him of “sitting” over files pertaining to Mohalla Clinics in the national capital.
The AAP MLAs alleged that Baijal was sitting on the files, which was hindering the opening of more such clinics in their constituencies. They left the L-G residence six hours after they went to meet Baijal on the issue.
There are over 160 Mohalla Clinics in Delhi.
On the other hand, the L-G clarified no file was pending with him and dubbed the conduct of ruling party MLAs as “rude and discourteous”.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office blamed the L-G office for what it said was creation of “factually incorrect” impression that Mohalla Clinic files were pending with the Delhi government.
“It is sad that despite the files remaining within the L-G’s establishment since there were specific instructions that these should not be shown to the Minister concerned, a factually incorrect impression has been created that the files are pending with the government,” the statement said.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, who led the delegation, told reporters after coming out of the Raj Niwas: “The L-G office told us that the Lt Governor will sort out the matter pertaining to Mohalla Clinic files in a meeting with the Chief Minister, Health Minister (Satyendar Jain) and officials concerned at 5 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday).”
“We do not want confrontation with the L-G. I guarantee that not one MLA said anything derogatory or rude to him,” Bharadwaj said.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal urged Baijal to sort out the objections over the Mohalla Clinics issue across the table and stressed there should be no politics on the matter.
“This is the season when vector-borne diseases — dengue, chikungunya and malaria cases are witnessed in Delhi. Over the last two years, Mohalla Clinics worked effectively as fever clinics during this season. Therefore, politics should not be allowed to affect the functioning of these clinics,” a statement from the CM’s Office said.
The L-G office stressed that “laying siege” to the office of a constitutional functionary was no way to resolve issues in a democratic system based on the rule of law.
“Despite being given a chronological status of the entire proposal and repeatedly being told by the L-G that the proposal had been returned to the Chief Minister on July 5, with a request to address the complaints, the MLAs continued to behave in a belligerent manner without any interest in responding to facts and logic,” the L-G Office said in a statement.
Baijal also spoke to Kejriwal to resolve the matter.
“Presently, there is no proposal or file pending in the Lt. Governor’s office relating to Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics. Further, no request for allotment of land for the Mohalla Clinics from the elected government is pending with the L-G,” the statement added.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said he had also written to Baijal to urge him to clear the files.
Jain said he had received a letter from Special Secretary (Vigilance) regarding alleged gist of complaints/irregularities in Mohalla Clinics.
In the letter to Baijal, Jain assured that not a single wrongdoing would be tolerated on any account by anyone in the Mohalla Clinics project.
“A few random instances cannot be the reason for stalling the establishment of Mohalla Clinics in Delhi. Kindly, don’t scuttle the entire Mohalla Clinics project due to some motivated complaints by our political opponents,” Jain said.