Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday slammed the Centre for transferring out some of his best officials, a move he said would hamper development projects in the city.
In a letter to the ministry of home affairs, Kejriwal took exception to the transfers of Vijay Kumar (Delhi VAT commissioner, who is being transferred out to Lakshadweep) and education director Padmini Singla to Goa. Sources said while Kumar has agreed to the transfer, Singla is yet to give her nod for the decision.
The home ministry had transferred the two officials on July 24.
Kejriwal said that the ambitious target for VAT collection, which accounts for over 60% of Delhi government’s total tax mop-up, will be affected by Kumar’s transfer while Singla’s transfer will affect the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plan to reform the education sector.
Kejriwal described the transfer orders as “a step to destablise, cripple and fail the Delhi government”. In his four-page letter, Kejriwal listed out seven instances in which the BJP-led Union government had taken steps to “cripple Delhi government”.
He alleged that the decision was taken without consulting the Delhi government since the Union government did not allow deputy CM Manish Sisodia to attend the meeting in which the transfers were finalised.
The Delhi CM said the Union government was bent upon taking revenge for BJP’s defeat in Delhi assembly polls.
Kejriwal argued that if the tenure of the two officials was the reason behind their transfer, there were other officials who have been serving for far long duration in the Delhi government.
“There are six other officials who have served in Delhi for longer periods than Vijay Kumar. If at all stay in Delhi was the reason, first these six officials should have been transferred out,” said Kejriwal.
Kejriwal also pointed out that Singla does not qualify for transfer. “Especially, her husband is also posted in Delhi and on spouse ground, she could not have been transferred out,” said Kejriwal.
He also mentioned power secretary Shakuntala Gamlin, who appointment to the post of acting chief secretary by L-G Najeeb Jung stirred a huge controversy. It became one of the first public spats between the AAP government and the L-G.
“Gamlin’s name is on top of the list of officials who have served the longest in Delhi. She has served in Delhi longer than Vijay Kumar. If at all tenure of stay in Delhi was a criteria then Gamlin ought to have been transferred first,” said Kejriwal in the letter.
He also targeted the PMO. “Is it true that most of the decisions related to Delhi government, which are taken by MHA are dictated by the PMO?” Kejriwal asked.