Sun, 27 Nov 2022

New Delhi [India], October 3 (ANI): Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Monday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, severely criticising him for being absent from Raj Ghat and Vijay Ghat on Sunday, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri stating that "it was a deliberate breach of protocol indicative of disrespect and insult to the President of India."In a letter to Delhi CM, the Lieutenant Governor said, "It is with a deep sense of pain, regret and disappointment that I draw your attention towards the utter disregard displayed by you and the Government headed by you towards the commemoration of Gandhi Jayanti and the Jayanti of Bharat Ratna, Lal Bahadur Shastri Ji yesterday."He further mentioned that neither Kejriwal nor his any ministers were present at Raj Ghat or Vijay Ghat yesterday, even as the President of India, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha and a host of other top political leaders of all parties, representatives of foreign missions in India and common residents of Delhi, humbly gathered to pay homage to Bapu and Shastri Ji.

"While the Deputy Chief Minister was perfunctorily present there for a few minutes, he did not deem the occasion fit enough for him to stay the course," the LG added.

"What makes this absence all the more unacceptable and appalling is the fact that President of India and Vice President of India were duly invited for the program alter approval from the Chief Minister, and the Dy. Chief Minister and Minister In-charge of General Administration Deptt (GAD). (MOD, were in the loop, having initiated and approved the proposal for the same, as the file went up to the Chief Minister. Moreover, in accepting the invite from the Delhi Government, the President's Secretariat had clearly apprised the Chief Minister through his Addl. Secretary, that it was expected of the Chief Minister to be present at the program and receive the President at Vijay Ghat," he said.

The LG said that organizing the "Homage Function" at Vijay Ghat, the Samadhi of Shastri ji is officially under the charge and responsibility of the Delhi government.

"The General Administration Department (GAD), GNCTD organizes the function and issues invitations thereof. The invitation cards for the program yesterday were issued in the name of the Chief Minister," he said.

However, he said that the Chief Minister was absent from the program at Vijay Ghat and the Deputy Chief Minister who came there, left the venue without waiting for President to arrive.

He further said this is not only highly improper but prima facie amounts to a deliberate breach of protocol indicative of disrespect and insult to the President of India - the highest Constitutional Authority of the Republic.

"You may be aware that, as per standard protocol and convention, Chief Minister (or in his absence Deputy Chief Minister) accompanies the Lt. Governor to receive the dignitaries in such national functions. It is also customary that the Chief Minister of Delhi and his Cabinet colleagues are present at the functions during the visit of the President, Vice President and the Prime Minister on days of such National importance and historical essence," he said.

LG Saxena also mentioned the about Article 51A of Constitution envisages that, 'It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions...' in his letter.

"President of India and Vice-President etc. are the apex constitutional institutions of the nation and showing respect to such institutions is a fundamental duty of every citizen. As host to yesterday's function at Vijay Ghat, it was incumbent upon the Government of Delhi, as representative of the public, to remain present to receive the dignitaries and see them off at departure. Prima-facie, it appears to be a serious breach of protocol and deliberate disrespect," said the LG.

Much more than being matters of protocol, perfunctory respect or display of physical presence, these almost holy occasions and events at the Samadhis of the greatest Sons of Mother India arc an expression of respect and reverence towards them. Indeed, such events, especially Gandhi Jayanti is a National Festival, that calls for commemoration much beyond issuing of symbolic advertisements in News Papers that your Government very promptly did.

He said that the presence to pay homage at the Samadhis are rooted in the ancient Civilizational Ethos and also provides us with an opportunity to renew and redeem.

"While your personal presence on the occasion would have been befitting since you were travelling as per a prior political commitment, it would have been in the gracious fitness of things to have nominated a senior Minister on your behalf to be present on the occasion to pay homage to Bapu and Shastri Ji, as also receive, accompany and see off the President of India and the Vice President," he added.

LG Saxena said it was also shocking to see the general apathy in maintenance and basic upkeep at Vijay Ghat.

"Right opposite to the Samadhi gate, there was garbage and CD waste strewn and basic cleanliness compromised. This again was reflective of utter disrespect of one of our most respected leaders and an insult to his memory," he said.

He emphasized emphasize that the entire episode is indicative of disrespect and disregard of the Delhi Government towards the constitutional offices of the President and other dignitaries as also gross apathy and dereliction of duties and responsibilities on the government's part.

"I would once again like to reiterate that just issuing advertisements in newspapers does not suffice and the importance of propriety and bi-partisanship on matters of National sentiments and interests cannot be undermined. I hope that you would take points raised by me in the right stead and spirit and take necessary measures to avoid such derelictions in future," he added. (ANI)

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