The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary– Jun 10, 2022; Day 308
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Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Tug of war Any hard struggle between equally matched groups
Turf Range of jurisdiction or influence
Disruptive Characterized by unrest, disorder or insubordination
Meddle to touch something that does not belong to you
Set the cat among the pigeons say or do something that is likely to cause trouble or controversy
At loggerheads In a dispute or confrontation
Undermine hinder normal operations
Bypass to ignore, fail to consult, etc.
Consuming Very strong; urgently felt
Latter Referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned
Curtail Place restrictions on
Thorn in your sidesomeone or something that continually causes problems for you
Tussle Disorderly fighting
Rein in to limit or control (someone or something)
Propagate Cause to spread
Propellant Something causing you to move forward
Grievance A resentment strong enough to justify retaliation
Stand-off a situation in which neither of two opposing groups or forces will make a move until the other one does something
In tandem Together 
Nosedive To get much worse

Messy battle: On the ongoing tug of war over Delhi’s status

The tug of war (Any hard struggle between equally matched groups) between the L-G and the CM is a barrier to Delhi’s development ambitions

The turf (Range of jurisdiction or influence) battle between the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) appointed by the Centre and the elected government of Delhi has a long and noisy history. The recently appointed L-G, Vinai Kumar Saxena, has, through his disruptive (Characterized by unrest, disorder or insubordination) enthusiasm to meddle (to touch something that does not belong to you) in the day-to-day governance in Delhi, set the cat among the pigeons (say or do something that is likely to cause trouble or controversy). Unlike his predecessors, Najeeb Jung and Anil Baijal, who too were at loggerheads (In a dispute or confrontation) with the elected government of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mr. Saxena is a politician close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) top brass. AAP has accused the L-G of undermining (hinder normal operations) “constitutional sanctity” by having called a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on May 30 and issuing directions bypassing (to ignore, fail to consult, etc.) the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister. The constitutional design of governance in Delhi itself is a consuming (Very strong; urgently felt) dispute that is being litigated in the Supreme Court. The Constitution gives the Centre control over three subjects — land, public order, and police. However, over the years, the Narendra Modi government has expanded the L-G’s powers, including through an amendment to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act that the AAP government challenged in court last year. Through these amendments, the Centre reorganised the powers and responsibilities of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and the L-G, in favour of the latter (Referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned). In the new law, “government” referred to in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor (L-G), curtailing (Place restrictions on) the powers of the elected government.

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AAP has emerged as a thorn in the side of (Thorn in your side means someone or something that continually causes problems for you) the BJP that is the dominant pole of the country’s politics, barely challenged in many regions. The tussle (Disorderly fighting) between the Delhi government and the L-G has to be understood from this perspective. The Centre has been persistent in its attempts to rein in (to limit or control (someone or something)) AAP that has been trying to propagate (Cause to spread) its governance model in the Capital as a propellant (Something causing you to move forward) of its national ambitions. While the BJP appears to be willing to go to any length to clip the wings of AAP, the latter’s loud protests are less on questions of principle than its own political calculations. AAP had cheered the Centre’s unilateral move that robbed Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood and special status in 2019. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s grievances (A resentment strong enough to justify retaliation) against the L-G are not unfounded, but he himself contributes to the stand-off (a situation in which neither of two opposing groups or forces will make a move until the other one does something) as his politics compels him to be in constant combat with the BJP. Despite pronouncements by the L-G and the Chief Minister to work in tandem (together), their relationship has nosedived (to get much worse) to new lows. Their long-drawn tug of war is a needless barrier to the capital city’s development ambitions. Until the Court brings clarity on all issues of division of powers between the L-G and the Chief Minister, both would be well advised to work with mutual respect and accommodation.

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