Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s scrapping of the thana-level committees (TLCs) has left the Delhi government fuming, with Aam Aadmi Party MLAs gearing up to raise the issue in the Delhi Assembly. Alka Lamba, AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk, will also meet the Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma on Monday to discuss the matter.
This week, when the LG made it clear that the TLCs are out of the system, the government made its stance clear, hinting at political differences clouding fair judgement.
“I have been told that the LG has said that the TLCs were established under Shiela Dikshit on her suggestion. My simple question is that when TLCs were established with the accord of the-then CM, then why didn’t the LG bother to seek the opinion of the current CM before scrapping it?” asked Lamba, who has been at the forefront of the fight to keep TLCs from being scrapped.
“TLCs are the most effective means to achieve immediate targets at the grassroots level. Scrapping them is a huge mistake because they have been effective even in the short duration that they were operational in,” said an AAP spokesperson.
The TLCs were introduced in 2013 and could hardly operate on a regular basis because of the instability of the Delhi government because of consecutive Assembly elections. It became functional again after AAP came back to power last year and decided to hold regular meetings under the TLCs.
However, the LG scrapped the TLCs on the ground that they did not prove as effective as they were conceived to be.
Since the MLAs are the heads of the TLCs, criminal cases pending against some AAP MLAs are also a reason why the committees were scrapped. The Delhi Police had said: “A person with criminal charges cannot lead the committees since it will affect its motive.”
An AAP spokesperson countered: “There are around 10 AAP MLAs against whom there are criminal charges. Why should the constituencies of other MLAs suffer? There are BJP MLAs too and their constituencies will also suffer the absence of such an effective module.”
Earlier this week, Swati Maliwal, chief of the Delhi Commission of Women, had written to the LG expressing concern over non-notification of the thana-level committees saying: “Scrapping of the thana level committees will be a huge blow to the efforts towards women’s safety and democratic decision-making in the state. In light of this, I sincerely request you to kindly reconsider your decision. She also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh who assured to take note of the situation.”