Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju Sunday accused the AAP government of insulting northeastern people by making unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against Delhi’s top bureaucrat, who hails from Assam.
This is the first time the Centre has spoken out on a full-blown turf war between chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung over the appointment of Shakuntala Doley Gamlin as the city’s acting chief secretary. Kejriwal has publicly questioned Jung’s choice and accused him of bypassing a democratically-elected state government, saying Gamlin favoured power companies.
“The people in the Northeast and Assam were happy a key position was given to an upright IAS officer from the region,” Rijiju told HT.
“But the Delhi govt’s stand is giving bad name to our region as it is bent on character assassination. It is creating drama without addressing the real issues,” he added.
The 43-year-old minister charged the AAP government of trying to plunge the Capital into anarchy by disobeying the Constitution and dared Kejriwal to book Gamlin if the allegations were true.
“If their allegations against Gamlin are true then why are they not acting on it instead of mudslinging? By talking about a coup in Delhi, they are trying to drag the Centre into what is a L-G vs Delhi govt issue. It is unacceptable,” he told HT.
The Delhi CM had said on Saturday the Centre was attempting a coup and trying to upstage the city government through the office of L-G.
Rijiju said government in the Capital couldn’t be equated with other states because of its Union Territory status, where the Constitution gave the L-G special powers and prunes the local government’s authority.
“You keep saying that you are an elected government. But you must understand the three municipal corporations in Delhi are also elected bodies. The central government is also elected by the people. Merely because you are an elected government does not mean that you have overriding powers and work against rules and the Constitution,” Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said.