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Delhi Turf War: While Kejriwal and Jung exchange blows, it is the bureaucrat who gets quashed

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Image courtesy: Jagran

By Gaurav Sharma

The Delhi turf war, involving Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is reaching its crescendo with the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) knocking the doors of President Pranab Mukherjee, hours before the CM was scheduled to meet the President.

After making a visit to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the L-G met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the stand-off that has rocked the executive.

For the past few days, Jung and Kejriwal, the city’s top two authorities have been locked in a bitter confrontation over the appointment of senior bureaucrats, with the Aam Aam Party not shying away from accusing Jung of bypassing an elected government in its ‘rightful’ attempt to place officers of its choice.

The heated battle was reignited after Principal Secretary Anindo Majumdar was removed from office and replaced by CM’s Secretary Rajendra Kumar. Hours later, the new appointment was declared as void by the L-G.

Subsequently, a red-faced AAP government threatened to not comply with the “unconstitutional” orders and intended on speaking with the President. Some TV reports suggested that Kejriwal had appointed Arvind Ray general administration department secretary, in place of Majumdar.

“Your directions are against the provisions of the law and the Constitution. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the issue,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia wrote to the L-G.

While the L-G refuses to budge from his position and maintains that he is the main authority in dealing with transfer and postings of senior bureaucrats, eminent lawyers back Kejriwal as the supreme authority in the matter.

Demolishing Jung’s claims, Senior advocate Indira Jaising observes, “There is no provision granting the L-G the power to act at his own discretion in the matter of appointment of the chief secretary.”

Almost echoing Jaising’s views, Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan says that Kejriwal has the ‘perfect right” to choose a chief secretary of his choice and the current crisis has been created by the L-G.

Others, however feel that the real reason behind the removal of Majumdar from office is the issuance of a letter of appointment to Shakuntala Doley Gamlin against the CM’s wishes.

Kejriwal went ahead and further accused Gamlin of favouring power companies, an allegation that has come under sharp criticism from Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, as being insulting to the people of North-East.

The confrontation, which has transfused into a  full-blown war, has already seen the embarrassing lock-out of a senior IAS officer in Majumdar. It is a case in point of the dismal way in which bureaucrats are treated in the country.

When the honest bureaucrats who are the real architects behind the smooth functioning of the country as a well-oiled machine, are subjected to such deeply humiliating gestures, it speaks volumes about the dictatorial attitude that the political representatives espouse.

The Delhi turf war is but a ‘war of egos’ , in which the real work-horses of the administrative machinery are toyed with as mere puppets. Denigrating such high-ranking officials only serves to throttle the vibrant democracy that is India.

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BJP Member Files Defamation Complaint Against Arvind Kejriwal

“The tweet has not only defamed me but crores of other BJP members and the accused cannot be permitted to go scot-free for such an offence,” the complainant said

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Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A BJP member Rajesh Kumar has filed a defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for tweeting objectional comments against his party men.

The complaint was filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, who has listed the matter for a hearing on May 16.

Kumar, who claimed to be convenor of legal cell of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Purvanchal Morcha in Delhi, told the court that he was shocked to see a tweet by Kejriwal saying that BJP members kept roaming around the country and raping Hindu girls.

“The accused (Kejriwal) has successfully dented the reputation of the complainant in particular and his party,” Kumar said in his complaint.

According to Kumar, he came across the tweet on September 30, 2018 and wanted to lodge a complaint immediately, but did not believing that the people would not take it seriously.

Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia commons
Arvind Kejriwal’s party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia Commons

However, during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations in his society in April, one lady on realising that he was a BJP leader, taunted him citing the tweet.

There were several such incidents when the complainant had to face embarassment due to the “utterly irresponsible and defamatory tweet by Kejriwal, who holds such high position”, said Kumar in his plea.

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“The tweet has not only defamed me but crores of other BJP members and the accused cannot be permitted to go scot-free for such an offence,” the complainant said.

He has requested the court to issue summons against Kejriwal under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act dealing with defamation and promoting enmity between different groups. (IANS)