This Article is From May 17, 2015

In Kejriwal Feud With Lieutenant Governor, an Officer is Promoted, Another Removed

FILE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (Press Trust of India photo)

New Delhi: A long-running political turf war for Delhi turned especially unseemly on Saturday with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government accusing Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung of endeavouring to stage a "coup" in the service of the BJP.

The flashpoint for the newest round of the feud is the Lieutenant Governor's decision to promote a senior IAS officer, Shakuntala Gamlin to acting chief secretary which makes her the top most bureaucrat in the Kejriwal government.

Mr Kejriwal has accused the bureaucrat of using her post in the power department to work against public interest and in favour of the companies that supply power to the capital. By ignoring his objections, he alleges the Lieutenant Governor is guilty of blatant overreach.

"My Q 2 Delhites - Shud a person perceived to be very close to bijli cos be made CS of Del? Shud elected CM have no say in selection? (sic)," Mr Kejriwal tweeted on Saturday.

The Lieutenant Governor refutes Mr Kejriwal's charges and insists that he is empowered to appoint government officers in Delhi. He also briefed the Home Ministry on the issue; the ministry is directly responsible for the capital's administration.

Mr Kejriwal says he has sought an appointment with the President for an urgent intervention.

But in a new round of letters exchanged on Saturday, another bureaucrat appeared to have been caught in the crossfire. Mr Kejriwal removed Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar, the officer who confirmed Ms Gamlin's appointment as acting chief secretary.

The Lieutenant Governor said "the removal of Principal Secretary by chief minister is void".

Meanwhile, Ms Gamlin took charge of her new office on Saturday ignoring Mr Kejriwal's request to turn down the post. In a letter written to the Lieutenant Governor on Friday, she wrote the government's allegations "could not be further removed from facts".