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NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court upheld the powers of Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday in a win for his political party embroiled in a protracted fight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that has compounded the capital city’s problems.
Under India’s political system, Delhi has a unique position in which the federal government controls the state police and oversees land issues while the local government is in charge of the general upkeep of the capital of some 19 million people.
But Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has sought more powers and operational autonomy to govern the city ever since it beat Modi’s party in a stunning election upset ion the capital three years ago.
It accused Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to interfere in Delhi’s governance through the federally appointed Lieutenant Governor.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said the real power lies with the elected government of Delhi and that the Lieutenant Governor, who acts as the representative of the federal government, cannot be making decisions and must be working harmoniously with the state.
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