Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday of “destroying Delhi through the L-G” after Najeeb Jung transferred several officials of the city-state, potentially sparking a fresh face-off between the AAP regime and the Centre’s representative.
The transfer orders, issued late on Monday, is the first major bureaucratic reshuffle by Jung after the Delhi high court on August 4 said the lieutenant governor is the administrative head of the city.
On Tuesday, the L-G also constituted a three-member panel to examine over 400 files for “infirmities” and “irregularities” in decisions taken by the Kejriwal government, sources said.
Kejriwal launched one of the fiercest attacks on the BJP government at the Centre, terming the L-G’s move as “witch hunting” and demanded an independent panel to “scrutinise all files cleared by (PM) Modi”.
Ever since returning to power with an overwhelming majority in 2014, Kejriwal has had several showdowns with the Centre for administrative control of key departments, including police.
His government had also pushed for full statehood for Delhi, unveiling a draft plan this year seeking people’s views on the issue.
Among the officials transferred from key posts were PWD secretary Sarvagya Srivastava and health secretary Tarun Seem, who were replaced by Chandraker Bharti and Ashwani Kumar, both IAS officers.
The AAP said that following the HC order giving Jung the reins of Delhi, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had requested the L-G not to transfer Srivastava and Seem.
While the AAP government described the transfers as an “attempt to derail flagship projects like opening of mohalla clinics and new schools”, the LG House defended the decision saying their appointments were “illegal and against government of India’s cadre rules”.
“Today, several officers transferred by LG directly. Files not even shown to CM or any minister. Is this Modi model of democracy?...” Kejriwal tweeted.
Sisodia said if the health and education sector suffers, “Modi will be responsible as he is creating hurdles in the functioning of the AAP government”.
The AAP government has opened about 105 mohalla
clinics and plans to expand it to 1,000. Also, it aims to build 8,000 new classrooms.
In a related development, the services department issued a new order with a list of approving authorities for transfer and posting within the city bureaucracy.
Jung later met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and discussed with him various issues concerning Delhi.