Chief secretary row: Kejriwal meets President, complains 'LG trying to run Delhi govt'

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday during which he took up issues like appointments of bureaucrats and other "unilateral actions" by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.

Chief secretary row: Kejriwal meets President, complains 'LG trying to run Delhi govt'

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday during which he took up issues like appointments of bureaucrats and other "unilateral actions" by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.

Kejriwal, who was given an appointment by the President yesterday, met Mukherjee along with Deputy Delhi Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. 

Talking to reporters after meeting the President, Sisodia said that they had a good meeting with Pranab Mukherjee.

“We've apprised him of recent developments, he heard the matter carefully. We have requested him (President) to ask him (LG) to not do what he is doing,” he said.

“We told the President that we accepted LG's decision to appoint acting Chief Secretary even without consulting us. But after that too, he has been appointing officers bypassing the elected government. He is even interfering in the appointments of secretaries and directly ordering them. Then where is the democracy," Sisodia told reporters.

“We also told the President that LG sir is directly issuing instructions to officers bypassing CM and Council of Ministers,” the Deputy CM told the press, adding, "LG was functioning as if there is President's Rule in the national capital and there is no elected government here."

"He is even threatening them with transfers if they do not follow his orders. It is not good for democracy," Sisodia added.

Earlier in the day, Jung had also met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue and informed him about his stand-off with the AAP government.

The Delhi CM had sought an appointment with the President on Saturday following his bitter face-off with Jung over the appointment of Power Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary of Delhi.

The confrontation over appointment of Gamlin as acting chief secretary had turned into a full-blown war between the ruling AAP and Jung last week with Kejriwal alleging that the LG was trying to take over the administration.

Despite Kejriwal's strong opposition, Jung had appointed Gamlin to the post on Friday. On Saturday, the chief minister had asked her not to take charge of the post but she ignored his directive and followed the LG's order.

Meanwhile, in yet another act of strong defiance, AAP government today appointed senior bureaucrat Arvind Ray as Principal Secretary of general administration department bypassing the Lt Governor.

Significantly, the order to appoint Ray was issued by Rajendra Kumar in his capacity as Principal Secretary (Services) though his appointment to the post by AAP government was declared "void" by Jung yesterday, as per PTI.

The charge of general administration department as well as services department was given to Kumar after Aninda Majumdar was divested of both the responsibilities by the AAP government.

Majumdar was removed on Saturday after he issued an order notifying the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary on Friday. The LG, on the same evening, had declared the order to transfer Majumdar "void".

Yesterday, Majumdar had found his office in Delhi Secretariat locked. Later the AAP government had appointed Kumar as Principal Secretary of services and general administration departments.

In its order today, the AAP government said Ray has been appointed as Principal Secretary in place of Rajendra Kumar.

Earlier this year, AAP government had removed Ray as Principal Secretary of the home department and had not assigned him any work since then.

(With Agency inputs)