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Kejriwal accuses Gamlin of favouring power firms, to keep an eye

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Sunday accused senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin, who was appointed as the acting Delhi chief secretary by the lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, of favouring power companies and claimed that she wanted to trick the government into signing documents which would give Rs. 11,000 crore to these firms.

delhi Updated: May 17, 2015 23:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Shakuntala Gamlin,Arvind Kejriwal,AAP

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Sunday launched a blistering attack on the Centre, saying it went ahead with the appointment of the city’s top official, who lobbied for two discoms, overlooking their reservations as it wanted the AAP government to fail.

Accusing interim chief secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin of trying to trick his government into favouring two of the city’s power distribution firms, Kejriwal, who didn’t name the officer, said the Delhi government would keep a close watch on her.

Gamlin’s appointment is the latest flashpoint in the ongoing turf war between lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, who represents the Centre, and the three-month-old Kejriwal government. Gamlin will hold charge till May 24, when chief secretary KK Sharma returns from leave.

“We opposed secretary’s (Gamlin) appointment but the Modi-led BJP government made her the acting chief secretary of Delhi,” he told an Auto Samvad rally, or a dialogue with auto drivers, in north Delhi’s Burari. “The Modi government wants us to fail.”

It might also do something “wrong during the 10 days”, “but I assure you that I will keep a tab on her (Gamlin) and every file will go through me”, he said.

Gamlin wanted his government to sign documents that would have given Rs 11,000 crore to the discoms that she favoured, he alleged.

“When our government was formed, she came to our power minister to sign a letter, saying BSES power companies had applied for a loan of Rs 11,000 crore. She wanted the minister to sign the document and said it was just a formality,” the CM said.

When the minister got the letter checked, it turned out to be a guarantee letter.“If BSES would have failed to repay the loan, the burden would have passed on to the people -- power tariffs would have shot up two-three times,” he said.

A May 5 letter from Delhi power minister Satyendra Jain to Kejriwal surfaced Saturday. Requesting the CM to relieve Gamlin as principal secretary (power), Jain in his letter accused the officer of lobbying with the government to promote the interests of BSES.

Jung had on May 15 gave Gamlin the additional charge of chief secretary. A day later, matters came to a head when Kejriwal asked Jung to work “within the confines” of the Constitution and accused him of trying to take over the administration.

First Published: May 17, 2015 14:43 IST