Babus raise concern on CM-LG turf war in Delhi

Rajat Kain

modi0kejriwalThe IAS officers’ Association too had a discussion over the escalating stalemate between the Delhi CM and LG Najeeb Jung. The civil servants claimed to have been deeply hurt by the allegations made against the senior bureaucrats without any substance or proof. The allegations, they say, will affect the morale of the officers at all rank and file. Delhi Chief Minister had accused senior officer Shakuntala Gamlin of “lobbying with the power discoms” last week as she was appointed the stand-in Chief Secretary of Delhi. That was the beginning of the turf war between CM Kejriwal and LG Najeeb Jung.

Holding their meeting on Wednesday evening, the officer’s body passed a resolution saying: “We view with anguish the way IAS officers have been treated and subjected to character assassination, we condemn it.”

Their meeting took place after Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung had declared that all appointments, transfers and postings made by the Delhi Chief Minister were null and void. He gave these orders in a press note released by his office for public at large telling that the all appointments and transfers made by CM Kejriwal’s office “in the past four days stand cancelled as they need his sanction”.

LG Najeeb Jung had further stated in his official release, “orders pertaining to transfers and postings by AAP govt in the last four days were not valid as they did not have his approval. The LG has the authority to appoint from an officer to a stenographer”.

He had also refuted with Arvind Kejriwal’s order directing the Delhi government officers not to comply with any directive from LG or his office. LG Najeeb Jung in his press release said “CM’s order directing senior bureaucrats to put up all files before him or ministers for decision is against provision of Constitution”.

On the other hand, the Aam Aadmi Party-led government too had raised questions over the latest communiqué by the LG office. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia sought to know the rules and procedures under which the LG took the decision to declare illegal all appointments and postings made by Delhi government in the last 4 days.

Besides, earlier on Wednesday, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi had gone public criticising the LG and even accusing the BJP-led Union government of interfering in the functioning of an elected state government. Arvind Kejriwal had written a letter to PM Modi complaining against the Lieutenant Governor and raising his apprehensions against the Centre.

The Central government on its part hinted that it will stay away from intervening between an on-going power tussle between the elected head and a constitutional head. Speaking to the press after his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday afternoon, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told, “The LG and the Chief Minister should sit together and find a solution. I believe that the LG and the Chief Minister will definitely find a solution”.

With Union Home Ministry deciding not to get involved in the turf between the two and maintaining that the LG as well as the Chief Minister should discharge their duties in accordance with rules and the Constitution, the onus of any resolution seemingly rests with both the CM Kejriwal and LJ Jung.