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While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was known for having differences with former Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, Aam Aadmi Party MLAs landed into a tiff with the new Lt Governor Anil Baijal over the Mohalla Clinic project put forward by the Delhi government. Forty-five AAP MLAs went to the residence of L-G Baijal on Wednesday for clarification on the project, however, the meeting ended badly.
L-G Baijal claimed that the AAP MLAs were "extremely rude and discourteous", belligerent and behaving in a manner "unbecoming of MLAs". Meanwhile, the AAP MLAs claim that the Lt Governor "got angry without any reason and left the meeting".
A Raj Niwas press release on the incident stated, "A prior appointment had been taken by Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj to discuss the issue of Mohalla Clinics with the Hon’ble L-G for 2.30 pm today. Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj was to be accompanied by four other MLAs in his delegation, as promised and confirmed by him. However, a delegation of nearly 45 MLAs headed by Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj assembled in front of Raj Niwas and demanded to meet the Hon’ble L-G. The Hon’ble L-G, despite his scheduled Court hearings at 3 pm, agreed to meet the entire delegation in his Conference Hall even though it was already past 2.50 pm. "
The release added, "At the outset, the Hon’ble members of the Legislative Assembly expressed their concern at the Mohalla clinics not being established as envisaged in their assembly constituencies. The Hon’ble L-G, after a patient hearing of the views of the MLAs, explained the current status of the proposal and clearly outlined the progress so far. However, unfortunately, the behaviour of the members increasingly became extremely rude and discourteous. Despite being given a chronological status of the entire proposal and repeatedly being told by the Hon’ble L-G that the proposal has been returned to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on 5th July 2017 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. Hon’ble L-G also spoke to the Hon’ble CM with a view to resolve the matter and explained that in a democratic government, decisions are taken on the basis of facts as per law on file and there is no file currently pending with the L-G office on the subject."
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, presented a different version of events.
"When 43 MLAs went to meet Hon'ble L-G (they had taken prior appointment) he said he would meet only five. This is an insult to Hon'ble MLAs. How can Hon'ble L-G refuse to meet the elected representatives of his state. When they insisted, he agreed to meet all of them. In the meeting when they asked him about the status of mohalla clinics file, he got angry without any reason and left the meeting. The MLAs were extremely polite and there was no reason for Hon'ble L-G to get angry," Bharadwaj said in a statement.
He added, "MLAs spoke to the CM on phone. He told us that he received a call from Hon'ble L-G. Hon'ble CM pleaded with Hon'ble L-G to resolve this issue. Hon'ble CM also offered that he could personally come over with his ministers to resolve the issue. However, Hon'ble L-G refused to meet him or any minister. MLAs are pained that Hon'ble L-G refuses to meet the CM, the ministers or the elected MLAs. As a result, the people are suffering."
CM Kejriwal is expected to hold a meeting with the L-G along with Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain on Thursday evening.