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Sisodia hits out at Centre for frequent transfer, posting of govt officials

Updated on Jul 05, 2022 02:32 AM IST

Sisodia said that according to the Constitution land, police and public order comes under the central government while all other matters fall under the jurisdiction of the elected government.

Manish Sisodia  (Twitter/@AAPDelhi)

Participating in a discussion on the frequent shuffling of bureaucrats in the Delhi assembly on Monday, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia accused the BJP-led central government of playing with the future of 600,000 children in the national capital by frequently transferring officers in the education department.

The discussion was initiated by AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj who said that frequent transfer of officers in the Delhi government by the “Centre-appointed lieutenant governor” was hampering the government work as well as upskilling of students because the new officials take time to understand the nitty-gritty, and soon as the officers learn the processes, they are transferred.

Sisodia said that according to the Constitution land, police and public order comes under the central government while all other matters fall under the jurisdiction of the elected government. “But in 2015, the central government overrode the Constitution and brought services under its purview. After this, all matters regarding the posting, transfer and allocation of departments was transferred to the LG. We have faith in the judiciary of the country and believe that it will strike down this unconstitutional move of the central government,” he said.

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In May this year, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, referred the dispute between the Centre and Delhi government over control of administrative services to a five-judge Constitution bench.

Sisodia said children are the biggest victim of the “unconstitutional move” by the Centre. “Like a pack of cards, the central government has been shuffling senior officials of the higher education and technical education department every 2-3 months. This BJP-led central government has done everything that they could have to destroy the higher education department. When we say the higher education and technical education department, we are referring to the education in the state’s universities, ITIs, degrees and diplomas and skill training,” Sisodia said in the House. He added that transferring an official every three months is a gross misuse of that power.

Despite repeated attempts, the LG office could not be reached for a comment.

Leader of the opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said the services department is under the LG. “Till the Supreme Court decides the matter, the authority of transfer-posting of the officers is with the LG. The LG is working as the guardian of the capital and accusing him of abuse of authority shows the narrow-mindedness of the AAP government. Delhi government should act with restraint and respect in this matter as the LG is working to bring about reforms in the city,” Bidhuri said. He added that since the matter is sub-judice the government should not discuss it in the House.

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Sisodia, however, hit out at Bidhuri. “Eight secretaries of skill and technical education have been replaced since then and the ninth secretary is also at your mercy and can be changed any day. There has been no director for the past 22 days, the entire structure is somehow held together by a link officer. Admissions are about to commence in the universities, colleges, ITIs and skill centres but Delhi doesn’t have a director for either skill education or technical education. Colleges also don’t have registrars. Children and their parents are stressed because there is nobody to help them or provide information,” said Sisodia.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, who initiated the discussion on ‘the situation arising out of the unconstitutional working of the Services Department which is refusing to even reply to the Assembly and its Committees’, stated that 9 principal secretaries and 7 directors have been changed in the department of training and technical education in the last four years. Currently around 6 lakhs students are receiving skill-based and technical education in the national capital.

Starting the discussion, Bharadwaj said in 2015 the Centre brought in a notification through which it managed to get the services and the power of posting, transfer and allocation of departments were placed under the preview of the LG. “In 2016, this issue went to the Delhi High Court. The matter further went to the Supreme Court and in 2018 the five-judge Bench gave back a lot of these powers to the CM Arvind Kejriwal-led government and only police, public order and land was under the purview of the LG. On the issue of Services – a 2-judge bench gave a split verdict and then it went back to the Supreme Court. A larger bench was constituted to look into the matter but it is unfortunate that this issue has not yet been resolved since then,” said Bharadwaj.

“LG is not sitting in his AC room, but he is holding his meetings for coordination in various departments. He is not only taking the meeting of the Jal Board, but he has also suspended the officers of DDA on charges of corruption. The LG has gone to the places where the problem of water logging arises every year. He went to the Prahladpur underpass, where the Delhi government had claimed that this year there will be no water as concrete arrangements had been made there by spending lakhs of rupees. The LG is a noble man and the AAP /MLAs should thank him,” Bidhuri said.

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Since 2018 officials handing the management of skill-based learning, ITI, Diploma, Polytechnic, DTU, IGDTU, IIITU and NSUT have been transferred within 1-6 months and directors are getting changed within a span of two months to a year, Sisodia said.

Sisodia stated that the AAP government has nothing against the LGs. “They (LGs) are not at fault. This is a direct question on the intention of the people running the union government. Either the BJP does not understand the importance of education or they don’t know how to manage the officials running the departments. Such is their arrogance that they’re not ready to consult us,” said Sisodia, said that the centre is playing with the future of the youth.

Bharadwaj appealed to the Centre to think about the citizens and those affected by such haphazard decision-making. “Such actions of the central government are being recorded in the pages of history and the future generations are going to laugh at us for these illogical actions,” said Bharadwaj.

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