New Delhi: In a scathing attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the row over appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting state Chief Secretary, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung said on Saturday that he is fully conscious of his duties.
Responding to a letter written by CM Kejriwal which strongly requests Jung to work within the confines of the Constitution, a statement issued by Jung's office said, “It is reiterated that the Lt Governor has acted fully conscious of his duties & responsibilities under Constitution of India.”
“Till date not a single action taken by the Lt Governor’s Secretariat is in non-confirmity with the provisions of the Constitution. Delay on the part of the Hon’ble CM of over 40 hours necessitated a direction from the Lt Governor that orders be issued, it added.
The statement further said the office of the Chief Secretary cannot be left vacant.
“The Chief Secretary is required not just for normal work but for any emergency that may come up,” it added, as per ANI.
“Lt Governor’s Secretariat regrets insinuation against respected senior civil servant & complaint will be examined as per procedure. It has also been reported that the Principal Secretary (Services) has been removed from his position,” the statement further said.
“This does not have the approval of the Lt Governor, who is the Competent Authority to transfer officials of that rank,” it added.
In his letter to Lt Governor, Kejriwal had said, "I am simply aghast by your questionable instructions issued directly to the Principal Secretary (Services) to post an officer of your choice as the acting Chief Secretary of Delhi. In doing so, you have bypassed the democratically elected government."
Gamlin took charge as acting Chief Secretary, earlier in the day, even though Kejriwal sent her a letter asking her not to do so as her appointment was "against" the rules.
Meanwhile, Parimal Rai, who was backed by Kejriwal for the post, declined to become acting Chief Secretary, noting that he respects the Lt Governor's directions.
Gamlin was given the additional charge of Chief Secretary by the LG, hours after she wrote a scathing letter to Jung claiming that she was pressured by a senior bureaucrat in CM's office to withdraw from the race.
The war of words between Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Kejriwal over Gamlin's appointment has escalated with the former stating that the name proposed by the AAP Government did not figure in the list of names submitted by the services department.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia later accused Jung of 'unconstitutionally' appointing Gamlin as the acting chief secretary of the state government and said the latter does not have any right to directly talk with any state government official.
(With Agency inputs)