The prickly relationship between Jung and Kejriwal has grabbed eyeballs as well as made headlines.
In a dramatic turn of events, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung on Thursday resigned from his post. The former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University assumed the charge in July, 2013. Jung thanked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his association in the last two years. But the ground-reality says the L-G and the AAP government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues. The prickly relationship between Jung and Kejriwal has grabbed eyeballs as well as made headlines. He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all the help and cooperation he received during his tenure. Jung also thanked the people of Delhi for all their support and affection.
Here are top confrontations that became the subject of debate:
1. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had removed Tarun Seem, the director general of health services and the man in-charge of the AAP government’s flagship ‘mohalla clinic’ project, from his post. The order comes over a month after Jung issued transfer orders for Seem, who was then the health secretary in the Delhi government. Reacting to the LG’s order, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “This is quite sad. All efficient, honest officers are being marked and removed systematically. Dirty politics (sic).” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had alleged that the transfers were ordered on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kejriwal had also tweeted, “Several officers transferred by LG directly. Files not even shown to CM or any minister. Is this Modi model of democracy?. Manish Sisodia requested LG not to transfer these two officers looking after works of setting mohalla clinics and new schools till March 31, but he (LG) did not relent.”
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2. The fight between between the L-G and the AAP government has even reached doorsteps of the court. The Delhi High Court had held that L-G is the administrative head of Delhi following which the AAP government had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government described the L-G as an “employee of the central government” in “a master-servant relationship”. Delhi High Court had decided that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is ruling a Union Territory and not a full state, the final word on the powers and duties of the Delhi government remains awaited. While almost all parties, BJP included, have repeatedly promised full statehood for Delhi, there are no signs of the promise being translated into constitutional mandate. In effect, Delhi continues to be in Schedule I of the Constitution along with other Union Territories (UTs).
3. In a bold move, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had scrapped the appointment of Krishna Saini as chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) by the AAP government on grounds of legal infirmities, further escalating the already intense confrontation between the two sides. The L-G’s office said Saini was appointed to the top post of DERC in March without approval of Jung as mandated under rules and procedures. “In the given circumstances, the appointment of the chairpersonhas been declared as void, ab initio,” the L-G’s office said in a statement.
4. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had appointed a three member committee to look into the 400 files submitted by the Delhi Govt. The committee will look into the ‘infirmities and irregularities’ in the files submitted by the Kejriwal Govt.
5. A few days ago LG-appointed bureaucrat today cautioned Delhi Commission for Women to not allow an official backed by Delhi government to carry out work as its member secretary, saying such act on his part would be “untenable” and shall attract penal action. IAS officer Dilraj Kaur, who was appointed as DCW member secretary by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, wrote a strongly-worded letter to DCW chief Swati Maliwal, saying incumbent P P Dhal should not continue in the post as his appointment was “illegal” and “devoid” of any statutory basis. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty and Maliwal not to allow Kaur to function as DCW Member Secretary.
(With agency inputs)