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Delhi govt takes on Najeeb Jung over transfer, ‘intimidation’ of honest officials

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New Delhi: Delhi’s AAP government has slammed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for allegedly “intimidating” senior officers and “shunting out an honest bureaucrat fighting against graft”. The latter, however, clarified the officer was transferred at the Centre’s behest.

The government vowed to stand by its bureaucrats and announced the setting up of a panel of three ministers on Friday to “protect bureaucrats from political victimisation”.

Transfer and posting of senior bureaucrats in the national capital have been a sore point between the Aam Aadmi Party government and Jung, with both claiming the power to ‘rule the city’.

In a damning charge on Friday, the Arvind Kejriwal government said Jung had threatened several senior officers with dire consequences, including police action, “if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing the functioning of the Delhi government”.

It also questioned why Delhi’s Value Added Tax Commissioner Vijay Kumar, who cracked down on organised tax evasion syndicates, was “shunted out”.

“Why was he suddenly relieved by the hon’ble LG, keeping the chief minister also in the dark? This is not a transfer. This is shunting out of an officer who was fighting against corruption and against deeply entrenched vested interest,” the AAP government said in a statement.

Najeeb Jung responded by saying that he relieved Kumar at the behest of the Centre.

On the charge of browbeating officers, Najeeb Jung said he would not like to comment in view of several episodes of “poor treatment meted out by the elected government to the top bureaucrats”.

The decision to constitute the Group of Ministers, which would be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, was taken at a cabinet meeting on Friday, an official statement said.

The government said the panel – including ministers Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai – shall be authorised to take all steps required to protect officers, including providing legal support to them, at government cost.

The government also passed two resolutions against Jung on these issues.

The AAP government and Jung do not see eye to eye on a host of issues, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing Jung of sabotaging the city administration at the behest of the Centre.

The Kejriwal government said Najeeb Jung threatened several senior officers with dire consequences, including police action, “if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing the functioning of the Delhi government”.

The government said the LG warned that if bureaucrats did not toe his line their careers would be “destroyed”.

“These officers were told to paralyse the elected AAP government by making adverse and obstructionist file notings against government decisions,” the government said.

It also said that Najeeb Jung’s “intimidating and coercive tactics” had intensified over the last one month and he was “misusing the names of top officials of the central government to pressurise the officers to act in an illegal manner”.

“The cabinet is aghast to learn of these developments. This is a clear attempt to subvert the functioning of a democratically elected government which had come to power with a thumping majority.”

The government said it supported all officers and would even extend legal aid if they were pressurised by anyone.

(IANS)

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Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

The Modi government was worried more about Ambanis and Adanis, he alleged

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Arvind Kejriwal giving speech suring chanda bandh satyagrah
Modi government betrayed farmers: Kejriwal.

The Modi government has stabbed farmers in the back by telling the Supreme Court that it cannot implement recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission which the BJP promised to do so in 2014, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

Addressing a farmers rally here at Jantar Mantar, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader also slammed the Centre’s crop insurance scheme as a “fraud” and demanded that it be scrapped.

“Soldiers at the borders and farmers at thier farms are in distress. It’s a sad state of affairs. The BJP has dishonoured the promises it made in 2014,” Arvind Kejriwal said.

Thousands of farmers from across the country marched from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital seeking loan waiver and higher crop prices and warning political parties not to ignore their plight.

Reminding the BJP’s promise vis-a-vis the Swaminathan Commission, Kejriwal accused the ruling party of going back on its election promise.

“They have filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and said they can’t implement it. There can’t be a greater betrayal than this. This government has stabbed farmers in the back,” he said, asking the government to take back the affidavit.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

He warned that if it failed to do so, farmers would teach the saffron party a lesson in the 2019 elections.

Demanding loan waiver for farmers, he also said that they must get fair price for their produce.

“They are not begging but fighting for their rights. Once their loans are waived, they won’t demand it again. The government should also buy the farmers’ produce at appropriate price.”

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He blasted the government’s crop insurance scheme.

“This is not an insurance scheme but it is BJP’s ‘kisan daka yojna’ (plunder farmers scheme). This must go and the money paid by farmers be returned. Instead, the government should start a compensation scheme for farmers.”

The Modi government was worried more about Ambanis and Adanis, he alleged. (IANS)