NEW DELHI-- Triggering a fresh controversy, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has said he was not averse to mulling over scrapping the Delhi Assembly if such a proposal was brought before him, evoking a strong reaction from AAP which alleged Delhi was being used by the Centre as a "testing" ground for possibly imposing Emergency in the country.
Jung, who has openly attacked the AAP government after last week's Delhi High Court order ruling that the LG was the city's administrative head, also said an apology was due from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for him "calling names".
The AAP said Jung has "perennial hatred" for Arvind Kejriwal and that such political comments by a person occupying a constitutional post amounts to "undermining" the Constitution.
When asked during an interview whether he is open to the idea of doing away with the Delhi Assembly, Jung said, "As a thinking human being, as a citizen of Delhi, why would I be not open to giving thought to anything that involves Delhi.
"Of course, I am not unwilling to think of anything. We are all human beings and all kinds of thoughts come to us. So, if somebody were to ask me in writing that will you give an opinion, then of course, I would think about it. I am not a robot that I don't think."
When asked about Kejriwal's usage of strong words to attack Modi in the past, Jung told News-X TV channel that in a democracy one can criticise the Prime Minister's policies "but you cannot call names".
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas came down hard on Jung for his comments on the assembly and dared the Centre to bring in a legislation to dissolve it. AAP has an overwhelming majority in the assembly with 67 MLAs in the 70-member house.
Vishwas said Jung's comment are a reflection of Modi government's thinking and that Delhi is being used as "testing ground to see how emergency could be proclaimed in the country."
"Would Jung have used the same language if BJP had 67 MLAs? This is nothing but a political hatred and jealously against Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP which comes from the top BJP leadership. "I request the LG to proceed on a 10-day vipassana course and weed out the hatred from his mind," said Vishwas.
Claiming that Jung asked Kejriwal to apologise to the Prime Minister for his attack, Vishwas said such political comments by a person occupying a Constitutional post amounts to undermining the Constitution.
"His opinion is a reflection of the Centre's thinking. Abolition of Legislative Assembly of any state does not depend on his recommendations and is decided by Parliament. If the Centre wants to do it, then we challenge the government that it pass such a legislation in Parliament," said Vishwas.
He alleged by giving such an interview, Jung was trying to influence the judicial process as the AAP government has challenged the high court verdict in the Supreme Court.
Taking a jibe at former Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi, who was made UPSC member after his retirement, Vishwas said Jung should contest polls. Bassi had a running feud with the AAP government which accused him of doing the Centre's bidding.