- Arvind Kejriwal posted a cryptic tweet inquiring about the possible appointment of Praful Patel as LG
- Praful Patel is one of the favourites of PM Modi and is known as a no-nonsense person
- It will be tough for Kejriwal to establish a symbiotic bond with him
Arvind Kejriwal’s chief ministership is infamous for him trying to override Modi government appointed Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi. Kejriwal looks all set to get further crippled as PM Modi’s close ally is expected to supervise him.
Praful Patel as Delhi LG?
Arvind Kejriwal looks worried about the prospect of a new LG in the national capital. This seems to be the only reason why he is not asking his companions about the next LG and rather tweeting about the same. Day after the BJP registered massive victories in recent state elections; Kejriwal posted a tweet regarding the change of guards in his own state.
In a rather cryptic manner, Kejriwal tweeted, “Is Mr Praful Patel, Administrator of Lakshdweep, being made the next LG of Delhi?”
Is Mr Praful Patel, Administrator of Lakshdweep, being made the next LG of Delhi?
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 12, 2022
If Kejriwal is concerned about Praful Patel being appointed as LG, he has every reason to do so. Praful has been one of the favourites of PM Modi for nearly two decades.
Within 3 years of starting his official political career as a state leader, Patel won over Narendra Modi’s trust and was appointed as MoS Home Minister of Gujarat in his Gujarat government administration. When Amit Shah resigned from his multiple posts, Patel was handed over 8 out of 10 portfolios handled by him-which goes on to show the amount of trust Gujarat’s chief minister placed in him.
Administrator of Union territories
However, it’s Patel’s tenure as administrator of Union tenures that may be giving nightmares to AAP’s supremo. Patel was appointed as administration of Daman and Diu in 2016 followed shortly after by Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. He was a rare political appointee on this post, otherwise filled by IAS officers.
4 years later, both these Union territories were merged, and a new Union territory called Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. In January 2020, Patel was handed over administrative powers to change the face of the renamed new territory. At the end of the year, Patel assumed additional charge as Administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
Now Lakshadweep is a Muslim dominated state with 95 per cent of the population belonging to the community. It’s not easy to handle it being a BJP appointee. He started a slew of reforms to take Lakshadweep towards the path of development.
Set the Lakshadweep on the development map
After taking responsibility as the administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, Praful Patel had conducted 18 raids across the UT to fight the drug menace. Anti-CAA/NRC posters placed by radical Islamist outfits were brought down throughout the Islands.
In May last year, Patel introduced a proposal to implement the anti-social Activities Regulation bill, 2021, or the goonda act in the island territory.
He proposed banning candidates with more than two children from contesting Panchayat polls, the removal of illegal storage facilities along the coast, and the strict order to boat owners against leasing/renting their boats to individuals without proper permission from authorities.
Patel also gave a nod to opening liquor bars in the island, a non-alcoholic zone due to its Muslim population, to promote tourism. Further, he also proposed to bring in a beef ban and eliminate non-vegetarian food from the menu of Anganwadi children. In December last year, the Patel administration gave assent to the proposal of no holidays on jumma Fridays.
One remarkable aspect which differentiates Patel from others is that he is a no-nonsense man. Despite being criticised from all corners for his Lakshadweep reforms, Patel never changed his stance and stayed firm on his reformative agendas.
If Patel is finally appointed as LG, it would be interesting to see whether Kejriwal would stay as chief minister to play the victim card, or he would set out for his national voyage to increase his party’s prospect in other state elections.