Kejriwal, Jung meet Pranab

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

In latest twist to Babugate, Delhi Chief Minister appoints new Principal Secretary

Delhi’s squabbling authorities — Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najib Jung — took their fight to President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday as further events increased tensions between the Centre and the State Government. Jung also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Kejriwal seemed to be in a defiant mood as he asked all the departments to run every instruction issued by the LG past him.

At the same time, agencies reported that the Chief Minister had, in contravention of the LG’s orders, appointed Arvind Ray as new Principal Secretary of general administration in Delhi.

The order to appoint Ray was issued by Rajendra Kumar in his capacity as Principal Secretary (Services) even though his own appointment had been declared “void” by Jung.

The charge of general administration as well as services was given to Kumar after Aninda Majumdar, an officer who was following the LG’s orders, was divested of both responsibilities by Kejriwal.

High drama

There was high drama at the Delhi Secretariat on Monday when Majumdar was locked out of his office. The senior bureaucrat was not permitted to enter his office as per a directive issued by Kejriwal.

Majumdar had, following instructions from the LG in direct conflict with the CM’s expressed wishes, issued an order last week notifying the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary.

The CM promptly removed Majumdar from his post following his issuance of an appointment letter to Gamlin. The LG, on the same day, annulled the CM’s order, asserting that it did not have his approval.

Gamlin’s appointment is at the heart of this controversy. Kejriwal has opposed it on the grounds that she allegedly tried to favour two Reliance Infra-owned power companies through a ₹11,000-crore loan.

Despite Kejriwal’s strong opposition, Jung had appointed her to the post on Friday. On Saturday, the CM asked her not to take charge but she ignored his directive and followed the LG’s order. Subsequently, on Sunday, at a public meeting, Kejriwal accused the Narendra Modi-led Central government of wanting him to “fail”.

People’s mandate

Meanwhile, the AAP reacted sharply to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comment that Delhi’s “experiment” with a new party is proving to be “costly” and that “governance is not in the AAP’s agenda”. The party accused the Finance Minister of “insulting” the people’s mandate.

“The comments of BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming the historic mandate by the people of Delhi for AAP as an ‘experiment’ have exposed his deep frustration and anti-democratic stance.

“It is shocking that an individual holding an important portfolio in the Union Council of Ministers has chosen to mock the will of the residents of the national capital,” said an AAP statement.

Published on May 19, 2015

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