Delhi Assembly's 2 day emergency session begins today amid Kejriwal-Jung tussle

  • HT Correspondent & Agencies, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 26, 2015 14:54 IST

A two-day emergency session of the Delhi assembly will begin on Tuesday amid the AAP government's ongoing tussle with lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung and the Centre over the division of powers.

Relations between Jung and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal have hit a new low over a series of contentious bureaucratic transfers and postings. The special session will discuss the gazette notification issued by the Centre which specified Jung's role.

Officials said Kejriwal's government had sought legal opinion from constitutional expert KK Venugopal and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, who felt that the notification is against the provisions in the Constitution and laid down norms.

The Cabinet also decided that depending on the requirement, the session can be extended further. The assembly was due to meet in June for the passage of the Delhi budget.

Ahead of the meeting, the Delhi government on Monday reshuffled 9 senior officials. IAS officer Amar Nath, who is holding the charge as the DUSIB CEO, was given additional charge as secretary (health).

He relieves senior IAS officer Arun Baroka from the post. Another IAS officer, FO Hashmi, has been appointed as special secretary (health) by the AAP government. Also, 7 DANICS officers were transferred to different departments.

On Friday, the Narendra Modi-led government had thrown its weight behind Jung saying he was well within his powers to make the senior appointments. The Union home ministry's gazette had said that services, public order, police and land fell under the lieutenant governor, who may consult with the chief minister on services using his discretion.

The tussle for controlling the city stems from Delhi's complicated position as a Union territory functioning as the Capital. The state government has no power over a number of important departments and agencies that function under the lieutenant governor, who reports to the home ministry.

Kejriwal has accused the Centre of trying to run the Delhi government by proxy, saying it had stabbed the people of the city in the back with the notification.

The CM's remarks reflected deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia's allegation earlier that the AAP government has been under attack because "it had stopped the practice of taking money to assign lucrative posts to bureaucrats".

The AAP government received a shot in the arm on Monday when the Delhi high court ruled the city's anti-corruption branch had the authority to investigate central government officers.

The HC also said that in issues dealing with criminal law and criminal procedure, the L-G was "bound to act upon the aid and advice of the council of ministers" that is directly elected by the citizens of Delhi.

Kejriwal called the verdict "a huge embarrassment" for the Modi government that last week said its officers could not be investigated by the ACB.

And in a public meeting on Monday to mark 100 days of the AAP government, Kejriwal resolved to take back Delhi government's powers from the Centre within the current term.

(With inputs from PTI)

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