NEW DELHI: In a big setback to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Centre on Tuesday sacked nine advisors to the ministers in the Aam Aadmi Party-led government in the National Capital Territory after the Union Home Ministry (MHA) said that these posts were "not sanctioned".
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's advisor is also among those sacked, tweeted ANI.
On recommendation of Ministry of Home Affairs, 9 advisors to Delhi ministers including advisors to Deputy CM Manish Sisodia have been removed.
— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2018
The action was taken by Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on the basis of the recommendations made by the Home Ministry.
According to an order issued by General Administration Department of the Delhi Government, the MHA had written in its letter that these posts on which the appointees are officiating are not in the list of posts approved for the ministers and the chief minister.
"No prior approval of the Central government has been taken for creation of said posts on which these persons have been appointed on a co-terminus basis," the order stated.
Among the nine advisors whose appointment has been cancelled are Amardeep Tiwari (media advisor to law minister), Arunodya Prakash (media advisor to deputy chief minister), Raghav Chadha (advisor to finance minister), Atishi Marlena (media advisor to deputy chief minister).
Those removed from their posts had been employed by the Delhi Government for the past three years.
The move is likely to trigger a fresh war of words between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and the Narendra Modi-led BJP dispensation at the Centre.
AAP has been alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre is looking out for ways to attack its people. The party has also accused Delhi's Lieutenant Governor of 'political vengeance'.
Arvind Kejriwal had recently accused Baijal of attempting to "paralyse" his government and demanded that the five powers enjoyed by his predecessor Sheila Dikshit be restored to his dispensation.
The powers, which Kejriwal referred to in his speech during a discussion in the State Assembly on an "Outcome Report" on the performance of the L-G's office, included the authority to take vigilance and disciplinary action against government officers.
In January this year, the Election Commission had recommended to the President the disqualification of 20 of the AAP MLAs for allegedly holding the 'office of profit'.
In March 2015, the Delhi government had appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. One of them later resigned from the State Assembly. The appointments were made to assist cabinet ministers and also include more MLAs in governance work.
However, the appointments were questioned on grounds of legality and the members holding the 'office of profit'.