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AAP govt holds meeting with bureaucrats amid standoff with LG

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday met senior bureaucrats at the Delhi Secretariat.

AAP govt holds meeting with bureaucrats amid standoff with LG

New Delhi: Engaged in a tussle with Najeeb Jung, the Delhi government on Wednesday told its bureaucrats not to "blindly" follow the Lt Governor's orders.

During the meet, bureaucrats were also told to discharge their duties in line with constitutional provisions, without any fear or apprehension.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, during a nearly three-hour-long meeting called by the government following a stand-off with LG on appointment of bureaucrats, explained to senior officials various provisions in the Constitution, the Government of NCT of Delhi Act and Transaction of Business of the Delhi Government.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Transport Minister Gopal Rai, acting Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin and secretaries and officers from all departments were present at the meeting.

A senior official said there was a healthy exchange of views in the meeting.

Sources said Sisodia told the bureaucrats about his Government's views on the tussle with the Lt Governor, maintaining that it was committed to follow the provisions of the Constitution and other laid down norms in ensuring efficient governance and exhorted them to work with full enthusiasm.

"The officials were told that they should not follow the (LG's) orders blindly," said the sources.

A number of bureaucrats also aired their views on the rules and regulations and how the government should try to resolve the issue.

The meeting came a day after both Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung took their bitter fight to President Pranab Mukherjee, accusing each other of violating the Constitution and overstepping their respective jurisdictions.

In a directive on Monday, Kejriwal had asked the bureaucrats including the Chief Secretary to first consult with him and other Ministers about any communication from the LG before acting on such directions.

The Government had said the meeting with the bureaucrats has been called to have a "correct and coherent understanding of the Constitutional provisions and other norms in handing administrative affairs".

(With PTI inputs)