A directive by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung warning Delhi government officials not to follow its “illegal” orders has triggered a fresh round of confrontation between the two sides with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking the Prime Minister’s intervention in dispelling confusion in the administration.
In the order on Thursday, Jung told all senior officers that they would face strict action if they follow the orders of the city government which were declared “null and void” by the Centre.
Angry over the LG’s order, Kejriwal in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Jung should not have issued such an directive which created confusion in the administration when it was battling to contain the dengue menace.
Seeking Modi’s intervention, Kejriwal said the issue can be sorted out two months later when the crisis subsides and that the Centre and the city government should now work closely to deal with the challenge of the mosquito-borne disease which is worst in the last five years.
The chief minister said Jung, in his order, has stated that the Centre has directed him to issue the directive and that he cautioned them of salary cut and other strict action if they do not follow it.
“I request both Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and the central government with folded hands that at this time, the people of Delhi are reeling under the menace of dengue, the disease has spread everywhere. The situation this time is worse compared to the last five years.
Slamming Jung, the chief minister said the order created confusion among the officers and will affect administration’s efforts to tackle dengue.
“If the Centre wants to fight, it can do so two months later, when the crisis will subside. At least for two months, until the time dengue is in Delhi, they should not resort to such things and instead assist the government in fighting dengue.
“I urge you not to create confusion in the minds of the officers at this point and to let us work together as a team,” Kejriwal said in the letter to Modi.
“Creating confusion does not suit the central government,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Asked why LG has issued such an order, he said, “I have no idea as to what the motive is but at this point the government is fully focused on fighting dengue.”
The Union home ministry had declared a number of orders of the city government “null and void” including appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam and cancellation of appointment of anti-corruption branch chief MK Meena.
In his order Jung directed officials not to follow illegal orders of AAP government.
“Should any officer choose to do so, both disciplinary action for compliance of illegal orders, and recovery of financial loss caused to the government as a result of such action, would follow,” the order said.
It said the Centre has taken note of constitutional position on various issues orders like change in the pay structure of DANICS officers and constitution of “so-called Commission of Inquiry” are not as per laid down procedures.
The LG and the AAP government have been on collision course on number of issues in the past few months.
The chief minister also wrote separate letters to leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and DPCC chief Ajay Maken and requested them to cooperate in fighting the dengue menace.
“The city is facing the worst outbreaks of dengue fever. It is our responsibility to serve the people of this city keep politics aside. Delhi government is dedicated and is working for public welfare day and night,” he said.
The chief minister also invited political rivals to discuss strategy to fight dengue.
“With this letter I would like to invite your party members to work with us. Kindly inform me about your suggestions and role you would like to play. Whenever you have time, kindly visit my office to discuss the strategy to fight with dengue,” he said.