In a fresh escalation of the conflict between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Aam Aadmi Party government, the Delhi Cabinet on Friday passed resolutions against the LG asking him to explain the “compelling circumstances” behind relieving the VAT commissioner and appointed a Group of Ministers to protect bureaucrats from “political victimisation” and alleged threats.
"LG has been misusing top Central Government officials to pressurise the Delhi Government officers to act in an illegal manner. It has been brought to the notice of the government that in case the officers did not acquiesce, they would invite the wrath of the Central government and their civil service careers would be destroyed," said a Delhi Government statement.
The government said it is aghast to learn of these developments and that there is an attempt to subvert the functioning of a democratically-elected government.
Extending its support to ‘any officer’ facing ‘political victimisation’ or ‘witch-hunt’, the Delhi government stated that it will provide the ‘best legal help’ to that officer at government cost.
The GoM, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, will have Home Minister Satyendar Jain and Transport Minister Gopal Rai as members. Principal Secretary (Services) shall be Secretary to the GoM.
The Delhi Government, which has been locking horns with the LG over jurisdiction issues, including the Anti Corruption Branch, said several senior officials had informed it that they had been summoned and threatened by the LG with dire consequences if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing its functioning.
The government statement said the ‘coercive tactics’ adopted by LG had intensified over the last one month.
On the transfer of VAT Commissioner Vijay Kumar, the Delhi Government asked the LG what ‘compelling circumstances’ forced him to take such an ‘extraordinary step’.
The Government speculated that the LG summoned Kumar and threatened him to leave Delhi immediately. The cabinet resolution asked if the LG received written or oral instructions from PMO or MHA to relieve the VAT commissioner, who conducted his last raid on 30 September, unearthing a strong Hawala connection.
The Delhi Government said the LG refused to accept the new name of VAT Commissioner, stating that the name suggested was too junior for the post.
“If Hon’ble LG could himself post so many junior officers to senior posts, then why is he raising objections now? In fact the officer, who is presently posted as Secretary to LG, is also a junior officer for the post that he is holding. With all humility, the Cabinet would urge Hon’ble LG to state the actual reasons for his rejection,” said the government statement.
Assembly session: The Delhi Government will convene the second session of the sixth legislative assembly from 18 November to 28 November. The decision to hold the assembly was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today.