New Delhi, June 17: The turf war between the NDA government at the centre and the local AAP government may cost Delhi home secretary Dharam Pal a coveted foreign assignment as his presence in the capital is being perceived as "absolutely essential" by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's office.
Dharam Pal is scheduled to attend a four-week training programme "Tax Analysis and Revenue Forecasting" at Duke University in the US from June 21, but the lt governor's office has urged the central government to exempt him from participating in the event, citing "unforeseen administrative exigencies."
Obliquely referring to the ongoing battle between the Arvind Kejriwal and Centre over transfer and posting of senior officials in the Delhi government which Dharam Pal is the latest to be embroiled in, Jung's office indicates that his absence from the office may lead to further problems.
In a letter to Joint Secretary in Training Division of Department of Personnel & Training P.K. Das, Special Secretary to Jung S.C.L. Das says that: "Due to recent political developments in Delhi and unforeseen administrative exigencies of pressing nature, presence of Dharam Pal who is holding the charge of Principal Secretary (Home and Land Building )in Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has become absolutely essential."
Under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Department of Personnel & Training is a coordinating agency in personnel matters, specially in respect of issues concerning recruitment, training, career development and staff welfare.
"It is requested that he may be exempted from the participation of in the aforesaid training in the public interest without attracting any disqualification," said the letter.
Dharam Pal, the latest senior bureaucrat caught in the Centre-AAP tussle, was transferred by the Arvind Kejriwal government from the post of home secretary for appointing Joint Commissioner in Delhi Police M.K. Meena as the new head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
His charge was given to Kejriwal secretary Rajendra Kumar.
However, the Centre had rejected the transfer of Dharam Pal as ab initio void. But Kejriwal maintained that the orders were indeed valid.
An anomalous situation has arisen ever since with both Dharam Pal and Rajendra Kumar acting as the home secretary in the city government. There have been times when both officials have signed files on the same order.
Interestingly, security in Dharam Pal's office has been stepped up to avert the episode of an IAS officer being locked out of his office in Delhi Secretariat. In May, then Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar was locked out of his office for notifying the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary.