1. Arvind Kejriwal meets President Pranab Mukherjee, hits out at LG over crisis in Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal meets President Pranab Mukherjee, hits out at LG over crisis in Delhi

Delhi CM and AAm Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal today took his fight with Delhi LG Najeeb Jung over appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as CS to President Pranab Mukherjee.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 19, 2015 8:01 PM
arvind kejriwal

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal with Manish Sisodia on way to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on 19th May 2015. Express photo by Renuka Puri.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today took his bitter fight with Delhi LG Najeeb Jung over appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as Chief Secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee and accused him of violating the Constitution and overstepping jurisdictions.

Arvind Kejriwal, who was given an appointment by President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, met him along with his deputy Manish Sisodia, who said “LG Najeeb Jung was functioning as if there is President’s Rule in the national capital and there is no elected government here.”

“Despite having a democratically elected government, he (LG) is bypassing the chief minister and ministers and issuing instructions to officers. He is even threatening them with transfers if they do not follow his orders. It is not good for democracy.

“We told the President that we accepted LG’s decision to appoint acting Chief Secretary even without consulting us. But after that too, he has been appointing officers bypassing the elected government. He is even interfering in the appointments of secretaries and directly ordering them. Then where is the democracy,” Manish Sisodia told reporters after meeting Pranab Mukherjee.

However, hours before Arvind Kejriwal met the President, Najeeb Jung, in a sudden turn of events, called on President Pranab Mukherjee and apprised him of the ongoing tussle over the appointments of key bureaucrats in the Delhi government with sources maintaining that it was a “constitutional crisis-like situation in Delhi”.

The Lt Governor has been maintaining that he has the power to appoint and transfer the bureaucrats and none of his actions has been “unconstitutional” as was being alleged by the AAP government.

Earlier in the day, Jung had also met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue and informed him about his stand-off with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

The tussle over appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary of Delhi had turned into a full-blown war between the AAP government and Jung with Kejriwal alleging that the LG was trying to take over the administration.

Despite Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s strong opposition, Jung had appointed her to the post on Friday.

Describing the meeting with Mukherjee as “good”, Sisodia said, “We have requested him (President) to ask him (L-G) to not do what he is doing. President listened to us carefully and I hope that he will look into this matter.”

“We told President that Lt Governor is acting as if there is President’s rule in Delhi. The main thing is that he is directing officers directly. In the last one week, he has directly ordered officers at least four times, bypassing chief minister, ministers, Council of ministers,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the AAP government appointed senior bureaucrat Arvind Ray as Principal Secretary of general administration department bypassing Jung.

Significantly, the order to appoint Ray was issued by Rajendra Kumar in his capacity as Principal Secretary (Services) though his appointment to the post by AAP government was declared “void” by Jung yesterday.

The charge of general administration department as well as services department was given to Kumar after Aninda Majumdar was divested of both the responsibilities by the AAP government.

Majumdar was removed on Saturday after he issued an order notifying the appointment of Gamlin as acting chief secretary on Friday. The LG, on the same evening, had declared the order to transfer Majumdar “void”.

Yesterday, Majumdar had found his office in Delhi Secretariat locked. Later the AAP government had appointed Kumar as Principal Secretary of services and general administration departments.

In its order today, the AAP government said Ray has been appointed as Principal Secretary in place of Kumar.

Earlier this year, AAP government had removed Ray as Principal Secretary of the home department and had not assigned him any work since then.

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