Delhi Jung intensifies

Published on May 18, 2015 02:14:14 AM
With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal going all out to stonewall the influence of the BJP-led Central government in his administration and with him choosing to become a steward of files bound for the office of the acting chief secretary, Shakuntala Gamlin — who was appointed much against his wishes — Delhi witnessed a ‘full blown war’ between the two sides on Sunday. The AAP chief alleged that Modi’s camp wanted to make his government fail by appointing Shakuntala Gamlin who he alleged tried to trick his government into signing guarantee letter for a loan of Rs 11,000 crore sought to be raised by Reliance owned power companies.

-Kejriwal launches all-out war against Lt Governor Najib Jung
-Accuses Gamlin of favouring Reliance-owned power companies
-Turns steward of files bound to CS; Centre slams ‘character killing’

He took Lt Governor Najib Jung head on for his role in the appointment by asking him to work within the "confines of the Constitution”. He alleged that Jung was trying to take over the administration. AAP chief said he will keep a tab on the chief secretary and wanted every file to Gamlin’s office to be routed through him for the next 10 days. The Centre also waded into the row with Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju accusing the AAP government of insulting the people of Delhi and asking whether the city government was trying to bring anarchy in Delhi.

Rijiju said the officer's appointment was made by the LG as per rules and the Delhi government was making allegations against her without any proof. He accused the AAP government of indulging in character assassination of a lady IAS officer from the Northeast and "disobeying" the Constitution At his 'Auto Samwaad' public meeting in north Delhi's Burari, Kejriwal said that Gamlin was appointed the acting Chief Secretary despite objections raised by his government. "We opposed the appointment of Chief Secretary (Gamlin), but Modi's government appointed her as CS.

We have been struggling for last four days, but Modi's government wanted to make Delhi's government fail," he alleged. "It raises suspicions that they (BJP-led central government) will do something wrong in 10 days.
Arvind Kejriwal government got unexpected support from Congress in the standoff with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over appointment of the acting chief secretary, while the CPI(M) too backed it. The parties said appointment of any officer should not be without consultation with the State government. Congress leader and DPCC chief Ajay Maken said the acting chief secretary should have been appointed as per the wishes of the Chief Minister.

"I entirely agree with one section which says that chief secretary should be appointed with the permission, with the wishes of the Chief Minister. "Chief Minister should have the prerogative of appointing chief secretary but within the Constitution. We have the laid down Transaction of Business Rules. The chief secretary should be appointed as per the wishes of chief minister and both these things are possible," Maken said. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said an "atmosphere of confrontation" would be created if there is no coordination between the LG and the CM. 

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said that the Centre should not encroach upon the rights of states in such matters. "If Centre tries to encroach upon the rights of state government through the LG, if it tries to attack rights of state, then it is wrong. We oppose it," Yechury added.