As the confrontation between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb over appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary has come out in open, a fresh round of controversy has gripped the AAP government.
Kejriwal dispensation which termed the LG's decision as "unconstitutional" is calling it a BJP ploy aimed at toppling the government while the opposition BJP and Congress are flaying AAP for disregarding the office of the LG. Jung on the other side is claiming that he has all the authority to appoint chief secy.
Here is all what has happened in this case so far:
What has Lt Governor Jung done?
As Delhi's Chief Secretary KK Sharma left for the US on a personal visit, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung gave the additional charge of Chief Secretary to Shakuntala Gamlin, a 1984-batch IAS officer.
Senior bureaucrats Naini Jayaseelan, IAS officer of 1980 batch, Arvind Ray and S P Singh were in race for acting Chief Secretary's post. But LG appointed Gamlim to which AAP Government raised its objection.
AAP calls Gamlin's appointment 'unconstitutional'?
Slamming the LG's move, Kejriwal government had said the LG cannot bypass the elected government and Chief Minister and that he acted against "the Constitution, GNCT of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business Rules."
The Lt Governor by-passed the elected Government, the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister (who also acts as the Minister in-charge of Services department).
The Lt Governor does not have the extraordinary powers under the Constitution to bypass the elected Government and issue instructions directly to the Secretaries, whatever be the provocation, the city government said in a statement.
LG rebuts AAP's allegations:
Jung had promptly rebutted the AAP government's allegations saying under Article 239 AA of the Constitution of India, the Lt Governor is the representative of State Authority in Delhi.
Gamlin accuses AAP of levelling false allegations against her:
In her letter to Jung, Gamlin accused Kejriwal's Secretary Rajendra Kumar of making a telephone call asking her not be in race for the post. She also accused the AAP government of casting aspersions on her integrity to service and levelling false charges.
In her scathing letter to Jung Gamlin claimed she was pressurised by a senior bureaucrat in CM Kejriwal's office not to be in race for the post due to her alleged proximity to BSES discoms.
Congress-BJP flay AAP for opposing Gamlin's appointment:
Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said, "If there is any charge against an officer you must inquire and why are they (AAP-government) trying to blackmail her (Gamlin) like this. They were trying to harass her and this kind of tactics they have done with another IAS officer."
BJP leader RP Singh said, "This is in bad taste and this sent a message to bureaucracy that if you don't go my way then I am going to hit you now. He (Kejriwal) is trying to run Delhi government like his party where he can kick out people and raise question against them."
AAP accuses BJP of attempting coup:
After Gamlin took charge as acting chief secy on Saturday, the AAP dispensation attacked BJP.
AAP Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds charge of Services department, said, "The BJP through LG of Delhi has attempted a coup against the democratically elected government of Delhi with highest ever mandate in the history of the state.
"This is for the first time that LG is issuing direct instruction to officers, bypassing the chief ministers and council of ministers," Sisodia added.
BJP calls AAP's allegations 'appalling':
Reacting over Manish Sisodia's charges, BJP leader Shazia Ilmi said, "It's extremely unfortunate and poor choice of words."
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "Mr. Manish Sisodia saying that there is conspiracy against them is really appalling."
Another embarrassment for AAP:
Parimal Rai, who was backed by Arvind Kejriwal, declined to become acting Chief Secretary, noting that he respects the Lt Governor's directions.
For Delhi, LG not CM is the administrator, say experts:
As per Constitutional experts Delhi, being a Union Territory, can't be compared to other states where the Governor is just a titular head. For the national capital, LG is the "administrator" who has overriding powers.
Former secretary general of Lok Sabha, Subhash C Kashyap was quoted by TOI as saying, "Under Article 73, executive powers are co-extensive with legislative powers. If the Parliament has overriding powers, then the Union executive also has overriding powers.
So in Delhi's case, the chief minister depends on Lieutenant Governor and not the other way round. There is no provision that says LG is bound to act on the aid and advice of the chief minister."