CM Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government took its confrontation with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung a step further by defiantly telling him that his “unconstitutional” orders regarding appointment of key bureaucrats will not be complied with.
In a letter to Jung, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the whole issue by writing a letter. Significantly, Kejriwal also met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue.
“Your directions are against the provisions of law and the Constitution and, therefore, cannot be complied… The Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is writing a letter to the Prime Minister on the issue,” Sisodia said in the letter. AAP has already dragged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into the row, accusing it of trying to depose the duly elected govt in Delhi through the LG.
His letter came hours after Jung rejected the appointment of Rajendra Kumar as Principal Secretary of Services Department in place Anindo Majumdar whose office was locked this morning at the instructions of Kejriwal. Majumdar was removed on Saturday but was reinstated by the LG.
Immediately after Kumar was appointed by Arvind Kejriwal, Jung shot off a letter to the chief minister, declaring his posting “void” and categorically made it clear that he was the final authority for appointment and transfer of senior bureaucrats.
As the letter found way to the media, Sisodia tweeted “Strange that a Constitutional Authority leaking letters addressed to Dy CM before it is received. Is it allowed under Constitution of India?”
Arvind Kejriwal’s office said he will meet Mukherjee tomorrow around 6 PM during which he will take up issues like appointments of bureaucrats and other “unilateral actions” by the Lt Governor.
Earlier in the morning, Majumdar found his office in Delhi Secretariat locked. Sources in the government said the instruction to lock the office came from the Chief Minister’s office.
The confrontation over appointment of Gamlin as acting chief secretary had turned into a full-blown war between the ruling AAP and Jung last week with Kejriwal alleging that the LG was trying to take over the administration.
Despite Arvind Kejriwal’s strong opposition, Jung had appointed her to the post on Friday. On Saturday, the chief minister had asked her not to take charge of the post but she ignored his directive and followed the LG’s order.
Meanwhile, acting Chief Secretary Gamlin met Union Home Secretary L C Goyal in the afternoon.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and Joint Secretary (Union Territory) in the Home Ministry Rakesh Singh were also present during the meeting.
The senior bureaucrat has been accused by Arvind Kejriwal of trying to favour power companies. However, Gamlin has rejected the allegations.
Earlier, Majumdar had also complained to Gamlin about his room being locked in the Delhi Secretariat. The AAP government has maintained that the LG has no say in the work allocation of the bureaucrats.