The Centre has renamed senior city BJP leader Karan Singh Tanwar as the vice-chairperson of the New Delhi Municipal Council, setting the stage for yet another round of confrontation with the Delhi government.
The BJP-led Union government overlooked senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Gopal Mohan whose name had been recommended by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, sources said. A close aide, Mohan was also of Kejriwal’s campaign manager.
“Tanwar’s name was cleared by the ministry of home last week and a notification will be issued within a few days,” a Delhi government source said on condition of anonymity.
Unlike the three other civic bodies of the Capital, the NDMC is under the union home ministry and doesn’t have elected members. Tasked with taking care of the city’s power district that includes the Lutyen’s zone, NDMC has a council, the strength of which varies, and is led by a chairperson.
As the chief minister and NDMC member Kejriwal has the power to recommend a name for the vice-chairperson’s post.
When contacted, Mohan said he was not officially informed about his name being rejected. “This is against the NDMC rules and if Tanwar is reelected, we will take the matter to court,” Mohan said.
This is the second time that the Centre has turned down the AAP government’s pick for a job.
The two sides earlier slugged it out over the choice of chief secretary. The Kejriwal government had wanted 1984-batch IAS officer Ramesh Negi to be the city’s top official but the ministry of home said the officer was not senior enough.
As Delhi is a union territory, the Centre is its cadre-controlling authority and has a say in some appointments, including that of the chief secretary.
Kejriwal wrote to union home minister Rajnath Singh, expressing his displeasure. Later, they both agreed on KK Sharma, who took charge on March 10.
The appointment of Indian Forest Service officer and former central vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, too, has pitted the Delhi government against the Centre. Kejriwal wants Chaturvedi, who had unearthed irregularities at AIIMS, Delhi, as officer on special duty in his office but is yet to hear from the home ministry.