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Delhi L-G V K Saxena temporarily dissolves DDCD; AAP says 'petty politics'

The AAP leader said if there was an advertisement in newspapers for the post of LG, then he must enlighten the people of this country. Probably he competed in the written exam for becoming LG, Bharadwaj added.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 13:56 IST

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New Delhi: Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena has approved temporarily dissolving Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDCD) and removal of its non-official members till a mechanism is developed for screening and selection of domain experts as its vice chairman and members, Raj Niwas officials said on Thursday.

Reacting to the development, Delhi cabinet minister Saurabh Bharadwaj accused Saxena of doing "petty politics".

In a file noting marked to the Delhi chief secretary, the L-G noted that the whole exercise of creating the DDCD by the incumbent government was only to extend financial benefits and extend patronage to certain favoured political persons of partisan inclinations.

"Ostensibly, the Commission was created to serve as a policy think-tank manned by domain experts, on the lines of the Planning Commission/ NITI Aayog, so as to provide inputs of governance that a political executive assisted by mostly generalist civil services may be deprived of.

"It was not meant to accommodate favoured individuals, unelected friends or politically partisan people," it read.

Saxena said the positions of vice chairperson and non-official members were envisaged to be co-terminus with the term of the incumbent government.

"Albeit initially these positions were honorary, they were subsequently converted into highly paid and perked positions, viz. the Vice-Chairperson, DDCD in the rank, pay and facilities equivalent to the Minister of GNCTD and the non-official members in the rank, pay and facilities equivalent to Secretary to the Government of India," he said.

Saxena noted that as per the Planning Department of the Delhi government, there is no work allocation amongst the Members of DDCD.

"Therefore, the continuation of non-official Members, whose appointment was made in an arbitrary manner without following any procedure, drawing huge salaries is not only undesirable but also patently illegal. To say the least, it is a blatant and clear case of nepotism and favouritism in utter disregard of all rules.

"Accordingly, the proposal of Service Department... for rescinding the appointment orders of Non-official Members is approved," read the file noting.

"... Additionally, the proposal of Services Department... regarding exploring possibility of dissolving DDCD as an interim measure, etc... are also approved," read the noting.

Bharadwaj reacted by accusing Saxena of doing "petty politics".

"LG's dissolving Delhi Dialogue Commision is petty politics. This is well known that all Commissions, Committees, boards of Central Govt or BJP ruled state Govts have political appointees without any test/interview.

"It's an old practice. Women Commission, SC/ST Commision r all live examples. Irony is even Mr Viay Saxena's appointment as LG is a political appointment without any advertisement, test or interview, (sic)" he said in a post on X.

The AAP leader said if there was an advertisement in newspapers for the post of LG, then he must enlighten the people of this country. Probably he competed in the written exam for becoming LG, Bharadwaj added.

In 2022, DDCD vice-chairman Jasmine Shah was restricted from discharging his duties and his office was sealed while the facilities enjoyed by him were withdrawn following an order by the LG.

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Published 27 June 2024, 13:56 IST

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