- She was working as Manish Sisodia's adviser on monthly salary of Re 1
- AAP government said centre's decision was political vendetta
- She was key to "improving the education system in Delhi," Mr Sisodia said
Ms Marlena, who holds a degree from Oxford University, had been working as Education Minister Manish Sisodia's adviser on a token monthly salary of Re 1 for the last three years.
The Delhi government has linked the centre's decision to what it calls political vendetta.
"The target for this order is Atishi Marlena. It's because she was key to improving the education system in Delhi. I'm challenging BJP to find one state that it rules where government schools have not been shut down. And here in Delhi, we are improving the education system," alleged Mr Sisodia.
In the last three years, Delhi's government schemes have seen a host of measures to boost the quality of education. A nursery curriculum has been introduced, training sessions for teachers have been doubled, appointment of guest teachers has been fast-tracked and parent-teacher meetings have been made mandatory.
While Ms Marlena and the BJP refused to comment on the central government's order, many others have extended support to Ms Marlena, an alumnus of St Stephen's College, Delhi.
No one can deny that @AtishiMarlena has done selfless and tireless work for Govt schools in Delhi, tweeted former AAP member Yogendra Yadav.
Whatever the technicalities of her appointment, no one can deny that @AtishiMarlena has done selfless and tireless work for Govt schools in Delhi. Central Govt should stop petty meddling, give post facto approval & award her for exemplary public service.— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) April 18, 2018
Filmmaker Shirish Kunder took a jibe at the recent move of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh to give ministerial status to religious leaders.
Atishi Marlena can still continue with her exemplary work for Delhi's education if she comes back as a Baba.— Shirish Kunder (@ShirishKunder) April 19, 2018
Actress Richa Chadha described Ms Marlena as an "exceptional academic and an asset to whoever she works with".
@AtishiMarlena is a Stephanian, my senior.Have never met her but know her handwriting cuz I've passed 3 years of History(hons) thanks to her tutes!The entire class would flock to the Xerox guys for her notes.She's an exceptional academic and an asset to whoever she works with🎈— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) April 18, 2018