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Rajendra Kumar, AAP govt bureaucrat in limelight (Profile)

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New Delhi: IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, whose alleged involvement in corruption led to CBI raids which sparked a major political spat between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and the Narendra Modi-led Centre, is a 1989 batch officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) cadre.

Presently principal secretary to Chief Minister Kejriwal, Rajendra Kumar, who is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) where he studied electrical engineering, has also served as secretary to Kejriwal in 2013 during the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) first stint in power which lasted only 49 days.

Born on December 16, 1966, he has served in Mizoram and the Andaman Islands, apart from Delhi where he has held a variety of posts including in the Commonwealth Games Cell in 2007-08, Delhi Transco Ltd, and the sales tax department, as per the union department of personnel and training.

Having done a course in development management at the prestigious Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Rajendra Kumar is also a recipient of the Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2008 for his work on Management Information Systems.

Rajendra Kumar also served as principal secretary in the urban development department, power and transport department. His office in the Delhi Secretariat was raided following complaints made to CBI that certain private companies received benefits from the departments where he was posted over the past few years.

According to reports, the reasons behind the raids at Rajendra Kumar’s office was a complaint by senior bureaucrat Ashish Joshi, who had written to Anti-Corruption Branch chief M K Meena, who is currently at loggerheads with the Kejriwal government, accusing the bureaucrat of allegedly indulging in corruption.

As per the complaint, Rajendra Kumar formed a company named Endeavor Systems Private Ltd along with some people. In 2007, when he became secretary (IT) in the Delhi government, he got this company empanelled as a public sector unit as Intelligent Communication Systems India Limited (ICSIL). This helped Kumar to get his company secure work without going through the tendering process.

The complaints also alleged that as director of education (technical and training) — from May 2002 to February 2005 — and commissioner (VAT), Rajendra Kumar had allegedly set up various companies to award work orders of departments without tenders which caused “financial loss” to the city government.(IANS)

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Blow for Kejriwal: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

A big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party after the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs

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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
  • The EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs under the ‘office of profit’ pretext
  • AAP looks forward to approaching the Delhi High court
  • The controversy started after Prashant Patel had submitted an application to the President

The Election Commission has recommended the disqualification 20 AAP MLAs. The EC found them guilty of holding an ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President. If cleared, the disqualification would mean that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will reduce from 67 to 47.

The 20 AAP legislators were accused of being unconstitutionally appointed as parliamentary secretaries to assist various ministers of the Delhi government. The EC’s opinion on this matter means that the AAP legislators are set to be disqualified, which could soon force a mini Assembly election in the national capital.

The party now looks forward to approach the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation be struck down. Wikimedia Commons
The party now looks forward to approaching the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation is struck down. Wikimedia Commons

“This is unprecedented. The MLAs in question didn’t get a chance to present their case before the EC. In fact, we didn’t hear the news from the EC, but news channels,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.

ALSO READ: Anna Hazare comes out in open support about Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Opposition parties have demanded the immediate resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi on moral ground.

The ‘office of profit’ controversy had started after a lawyer, Prashant Patel, had filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office. It questioned the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

The Congress had filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 as a follow-up, based on this application. The opposition party sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs.

Kejriwal had appointed MLAs in March 2015 and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015. Wikimedia Commons

AAP had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no monetary benefit attached to it. But then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, declaring them illegal since the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor”.

ALSO READ: Discontentment in the Aam Aadmi Party is resulting in Resignation and withdrawals from the party

In the first reaction to the EC recommendation, AAP spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted:

Here’s the list of 20 MLAs who have been recommended to be disqualified: 

1. Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli)
2. Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar)
3. Praveen Kumar (Jangpura)
4. Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar)
5. Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka)
6. Sanjeev Jha (Burari)
7. Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar)
8. Sukhvir Singh (Mundka)
9. Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar)
10. Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar)
11. Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk)
12. Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri)
13. Anil Kumar Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar)
14. Manoj Kumar (Kondli)
15. Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh)
16. Avtar Singh (Kalkaji)
17. Vijendar Garg Vijay (Rajinder Nagar)
18. Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur)
19. Sharad Kumar (Narela)
20. Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar)