Kejriwal writes to PM Modi complaining about LG

Rajat Kain

kejriwal_oathDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has now written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Accusing the Centre of interfering in the affairs of his government, Kejriwal wrote, “In Delhi, Central government is trying to run government unconstitutionally through the Lt Governor. Let Delhi government function independently”.

He also added that the elected government must have its own say over selecting officers for their departments.

“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,” wrote the Delhi CM.

The letter was written by Kejriwal a day after he along with his deputy Manish Sisodia met with the President. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung too held a meet with President Pranab Mukherjee prior to the latter’s meeting with the Delhi CM.

Amid the chaos and reports of senior bureaucrats seeking transfer out of Delhi, Deputy CM Sisodia on Wednesday morning held a meeting with senior officers to take up the issues concerning the Transaction of Business protocol.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court also took a strong view of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government locking the office of senior bureaucrat. Hearing an on-going matter concerning the admission of children from economically weaker section (EWS) in Delhi schools, the bench observed on a highly controversial incident on Monday morning when Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar had found his office at Delhi Secretariat building locked.

“We (people) wanted a better government. Look what’s happening. Instead of doing work and answering the questions, you locked up the office,” the bench of Delhi HC Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw remarked.

The incident of locking the senior officer’s room is seen as a direct result of an on-going stalemate between CM Arvind Kejriwal and LG Najeeb Jung which is giving no signs of any rapprochement. Since last week the two have been on crossroads over the issue of appointment, removal and reinstatement of the senior officers.

It all began last week over the appointment of stand-in Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin. The senior most bureaucrat was appointed by the LG but was opposed by the CM. Later Kejriwal removed Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar but that order was declared void by the LG. This was followed by LG declaring another Kejriwal’s order void where he replaced Majumdar with his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, an officer considered to be close to CM Arvind Kejriwal. However, the tiff between the two reached a flashpoint with CM and Deputy CM declaring that no officer will follow the orders from LG or his office.

After hearing both the LG and CM, President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to seek a legal view on the stalemate. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also slated to meet the President in the afternoon.