Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken his ugly spat with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to the President but may have to wait a few more days for a meeting as Pranab Mukherjee is away on an official visit to Uttarakhand.
Kejriwal sought an appointment with the President after his row with Jung escalated on Saturday following the appointment of senior IAS officer Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary by the Lieutenant Governor.
Gamlin joined the post despite being asked not to do so by Kejriwal. The spat heated up further after Jung overruled an order of the Aam Aadmi Party government removing principal secretary (services) Anindo Majumdar.
The President’s office is expected to process Kejriwal’s request for a meeting only on Tuesday after Mukherjee returns from Uttarakhand, where he will address a special session of the state assembly.
Though Gamlin will be the acting chief secretary only till May 24, Kejriwal alleged on Sunday that she was appointed as the BJP-led government at the Centre wants to make “Delhi's government fail". AAP has also accused Jung of acting at the behest of the ruling BJP.
In a letter sent to Jung, Kejriwal said he was “aghast by your questionable instructions” to post Gamlin as acting chief secretary. “In doing so, you have bypassed the democratically elected government. I would strongly request and urge you to remain within the confines of the Constitution and the laws relating to government of the NCT of Delhi,” he wrote.
Kejriwal also attached a “secret” note prepared by Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain on Gamlin’s alleged proximity to power companies. AAP leaders have accused Gamlin of using her post in the power department to favour energy firms.
Jung’s office responded sharply with a statement: “Not a single action taken by the L-G’s secretariat is in non-conformity with the...Constitution. In this case, the CM was duly consulted on file and the relevant notesheet is in public domain.”
Kejriwal has said he will keep a close watch on Gamlin and check every file that passes through her hands. that supply power to the capital, at the cost of public interest.
At a meeting with auto-rickshaw drivers on Sunday, Kejriwal alleged Gamlin wanted to trick his government into signing documents that will give Rs 11,000 crore to power firms.
Minister for State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who like Gamlin belongs to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, has accused the AAP government of "character assassination" of the IAS officer. Gamlin has rejected the charges levelled against her by the AAP government.