Prez lends ear to embattled Jung, Kejri

Last Updated 19 May 2015, 20:01 IST

In the backdrop of a bitter face-off over appointing officials, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held separate meetings with President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who accompanied Kejriwal, said they told Mukherjee about the manner in which Jung bypassed elected representatives to appoint an acting chief secretary.

“We told the President that appointments and orders issued by the Lt Governor is not good for democracy. We said that we accepted his decision on the acting chief secretary but later he issued four orders in one week and appointed secretaries, bypassing the elected government,” said Sisodia.

The Lt Governor was trying to run the government as if President’s rule was in force in the city, he added.

Sisodia said that the President gave them a patient hearing during which the chief minister also pointed out that if secretaries would also be appointed by the Lt Governor, then what is the use of having an elected government.

Sources said the Delhi government has convened a meeting of all heads of departments on Wednesday and told them to read the Transaction of Business Rules of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act which lays down the powers of the Lt Governor and the elected government.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will discuss the issue with Mukherjee on Wednesday.
Earlier, Jung told the President about the facts related to the circumstances under which he appointed Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary, sources said.

He also shared the reasons on why he struck down the Delhi government’s decision to change the principal secretary (services) on Monday.

Hours before Jung and Kejriwal met the president, the Delhi government flexed its muscles yet again and appointed senior bureaucrat Arvind Ray as principal secretary of general administration department, bypassing Jung.

The order was issued by Rajendra Kumar in his capacity as principal secretary (services) though his appointment to the post by the AAP government was declared “void” by Jung on Monday.

Anindo Majumdar, who was removed on Saturday after he issued an order notifying Gamlin’s appointment as acting chief secretary, was reinstated by Jung on Tuesday evening, said sources in Raj Niwas.

“Rajendra Kumar is not the principal secretary (services),” said a source, while confirming that Gamlin and few other officers had visited Raj Niwas during the day.
Kejriwal and the Lt governor were earlier at loggerheads over the issue of sending official files to Raj Niwas.

When the chief minister ordered that all files should be routed through his office, Jung reminded him and officials the Constitutional fine print that mandates all files relating to matters for which the Legislative Assembly can make law should come to the Lt Governor for approval.

(Published 19 May 2015, 19:59 IST)

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