It has been a rocky ride for the AAP-led Delhi government and the office of the Lieutenant Governor with tussles over issues such as the transfer of bureaucrats, control over the Anti-Corruption Branch and even an assault on the chief secretary bringing the administration to a virtual halt. The major flashpoints of the last three-and-half years:
Three months after it took over, the AAP government said in May 2015 that control over the Anti-Corruption Branch was handed over to then Lt Governor Najeeb Jung due to which it could not take strict action against corrupt officers.
The government alleged this was not so during the previous Sheila Dikshit-led administration. The centre, it said, had issued a notification giving control of the anti-graft body to the lieutenant governor when Delhi was under President’s rule in 2014.
Transfer And Posting Of Bureaucrats
In May 2015, the then Lt Governor appointed senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary of Delhi despite Mr Kejriwal’s strong objection. Aggrieved over the move, the government locked the office of the then service secretary Anindo Majumdar, who had issued Ms Gamlin’s appointment order following the lieutenant governor’s directives.
It was the first major confrontation between the government and the Lt Governor’s office on the issue. Since then, Mr Kejriwal has frequently complained that he could not appoint even a “peon” or transfer an officer of his government with the Centre “snatching” services from the Delhi government and handing it to the Lt Governor. He also alleged bureaucrats didn’t obey his government’s orders as their cadre controlling authority was the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In December 2015, Delhi’s bureaucrats went on mass leave for a day against the AAP dispensation’s decision to suspend two special home secretaries.
In May this year, Mr Kejriwal, his ministers and AAP legislators sat on ‘dharna’ near Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s office for over three hours, accusing him of stalling the AAP government’s ambitious project to install 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras across the city at the “behest of the BJP”.
The Lt Governor’s office maintained that government’s files on decisions taken by it were cleared in accordance with rules.
Alleged Assault On Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash
In February this year, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly called to Kejriwal’s residence late at night and assaulted by a group of AAP legislators. Following this, bureaucrats decided to boycott meetings with AAP ministers.
The stalemate continued till the last week of June and was broken after a nine-day sit in by Mr Kejriwal. His deputy Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyender Jain also went on a hunger strike to press their point.