The controversy over Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot's alleged misbehaviour with a senior IAS officer intensified on Monday as the former accused the bureaucrats of trying to put pressure on the ministers with an aim to paralyse the functioning of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Participating in a discussion in the Monsoon Session of the Assembly that began on Monday, Mr Gahlot cited the names of several senior officers of the Delhi government and accused Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi of being "adamant" and trying to override his authority.
"After the July 4 Supreme Court verdict, the officers are under pressure and now they are trying to put pressure on the ministers. It is a larger conspiracy to stop the Delhi government from functioning," he told the House.
Referring to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's inspection visit to the Burari Transport Authority office last month, where he received complaints of corruption, Mr Gahlot alleged that the transport commissioner was "adamant" that there were no irregularities.
"I told her to refer to the inspection and observations that irregularities were found. But she was adamant and tried to put pressure that no irregularities were there," he said.
A difference of opinion was natural, but "overriding" the opinion of a minister by a secretary was "unprecedented", Mr Gahlot added.
Last week, at a meeting to review the answers to be given in the Assembly to questions related to the Transport department, the minister had allegedly misbehaved with Ms Joshi.
"This is a dangerous trend. After all, we are answerable to the Assembly and the people, not the officers," Mr Gahlot said.
He also alleged that Ms Joshi had "refused" to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against a high court verdict staying procurement of buses.
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