Monday, 13 July 2015
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New Delhi, July 13:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung with a warm hug at his Iftaar party on Sunday and later said that the “sour relationship should go away.”
After months of an acrimonious power struggle, the two top men of the capital sat together and beamed as camera teams had a field day capturing the moment.
“The sour relationship should go away because, anyway, there are no hard feelings as such. Everybody is doing their work. If we work together, only then will the country progress,” Mr Kejriwal told reporters.
The Chief Minister and Mr Jung have clashed almost constantly in the past few months over key appointments. Mr Kejriwal says the Lieutenant Governor, who represents the Centre in Delhi, has no right to take decisions without consulting his government.
Delhi is not a full state and some crucial functions like land and policing are under the Centre’s control.
The bitterness was not evident when Mr Kejriwal embraced the Lieutenant Governor as soon as he was ushered in by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Besides Mr Jung, the Chief Minister’s Iftar at Chanakyapuri in central Delhi also featured Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Police Commissioner BS Bassi and Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit.
Mr Kejriwal took turns sitting with Mr Ansari, Ms Dikshit and Mr Jung.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was invited too but her party colleague Derek O’Brien attended the event.
Mr Kejriwal, who was seen chatting with the Trinamool parliamentarian, told reporters that he had invited leaders from across the political spectrum, unlike other “VIP Iftars”.
“VIP iftars are of one type and our iftar of the other. Even VIPs felt good about the presence of common people at the event. We had called people cutting across party lines, including BJP, Congress, Trinamool and Janta Dal United,” he said.