DCW chief appointment new flashpoint in Jung-Kejriwal tussle
Escalating its confrontation with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, a defiant AAP Government on Wednesday refused to comply with his order cancelling appointment of Swati Maliwal as Chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) notwithstanding his assertion that 'Government' meant the LG in Delhi.
New Delhi: Escalating its confrontation with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, a defiant AAP Government on Wednesday refused to comply with his order cancelling appointment of Swati Maliwal as Chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) notwithstanding his assertion that 'Government' meant the LG in Delhi.
Reflecting government's strong position on the issue, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had made the appointment in tune with constitutional provisions and laid down norms and there was no question of reviewing the decision.
"Whatever LG said today is not new. Such instances (LG's intervention in government's works) have now been old," he said indicating government will reply to the LG on the issue.
Earlier, in a letter to the Chief Minister's office, Jung said the notification appointing her was "ultra vires and infructuous" as it does not have his approval.
30-year-old Maliwal, who had taken charge of DCW, is wife of Aam Aadmi Party leader Navin Jaihind and has been an advisor to Kejriwal on public grievances and handles his Janta Samwad. She has been associated with the AAP chief since India Against Corruption (IAC) days.
Referring to a Home Ministry order, the LG's office insisted that 'Government' meant the "Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi" appointed by the President and insisted that he was sole authority in deciding on major issues including appointment to top positions.
"The constitutionally valid consistent definition of Government is the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 and designated as such under article 239 AA of the Constitution," the LG's office said in the letter.
The LG has been locked in tussle with Kejriwal on a number of issues including on appointment and transfer of senior bureaucrats.
Kejriwal is understood to have discussed the issue with a number of his cabinet colleagues and following which a decision was taken to continue with Maliwal.
"Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken decision to appoint Maliwal as per Constitution and law. If someone has problem, we will then discuss," Rai said.
A top official said, "We will give appropriate reply to the LG. Government will back Maliwal as DCW Chief."
On her part Maliwal said she respects the "constitutionality" of LG's office and hoped the "minor" issue will be resolved.
"I think this is a minor technical glitch because what is being said is that the file (my appointment) was not sent to LG's office. I think it will get resolved. It is not a very major issue," she told reporters.