Opposition Supports Kejriwal Against Lt Gov. in Chief Secretary Row
Delhi Chief Minister
NEW DELHI: In an unexpected development, the Congress as well as the CPI(M) has extended support to the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi over the controversy regarding the appointment of the Acting Chief Secretary of Delhi.
Both the parties argued that no officer should be appointed without consulting the state government.
Delhi Congress Chief, Ajay Maken was of the view that Chief Minister should have been consulted by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung before the appointment.
"I entirely agree that the chief secretary should be appointed with the permission, with the wishes of the chief minister. Chief Minister should have the prerogative of appointing chief secretary but within the Constitution. We have the laid down Transaction of Business Rules. The chief secretary should be appointed as per the wishes of chief minister and both these things are possible," Maken said.
On the other hand, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also backed Kejriwal and said that the rights of the states in such matters should not be encroached upon by the Central government.
"If Centre tries to encroach upon the rights of state government through the L-G, if it tries to attack rights of state, then it is wrong. We oppose it," Yechury said.
On Sunday, Minister for State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju strongly condemned the AAP government’s move opposing the appointment of Shankuntala Doley Gamlin as the Acting Chief Secretary of Delhi.
Rijiju accused Kejriwal and his government of indulging in “character assassination” of the woman IAS officer from the Northeast and "disobeying" the Constitution, adding that it was insult to not only Gamlin but rather, to the people of the north-east.
The Minister said that the LG made the appointment as per the rules while the AAP government was making allegations against her without any proof.
"This is nothing but character assassination of a lady IAS officer from the Northeast. They are saying she is incapable. What are the charges against her.If she is involved in any corruption, bring charges against her.By making public statements against her, they are just indulging in character assassination, it is an insult to the people of Northeast," he said.
Rijiju clarified that the national capital is not a state, only a Union Territory and therefore, its government cannot be equated with any other state government.
"You keep saying that you are an elected government.But you must understand that the three municipal corporations in Delhi are also elected bodies.The central government is also elected by the people. All work under the Constitution and follow rules. Merely because you are an elected government does not mean that you have overriding powers and work against rules and the Constitution," the Minister added.
Meanwhile, the Congress also slammed the BJP and AAP for exploiting the issue for mere political gains.
"We have heard Kejriwal openly alleging that the acting chief secretary has links with the private companies and has criticised her for that and today early in the morning we have seen Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju linking it to North-eastern states and yesterday the BJP linked it to women's issue. My request to both these political parties is that don't make these officers a football for your own turf war games," Maken said.
The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung had appointed Gamlin as Delhi's acting Chief Secretary on Friday despite strong opposition from Kejriwal. The Delhi government had accused the Centre of launching a "coup" against them.
On the other hand, Gamlin, in a written complaint to Jung, claimed that she was being intimidated and blackmailed by senior officials of the Delhi Government.