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Delhi chief secretary refuses to obey CM order on metro fare hike

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

In an unprecedented development, Delhi chief secretary M M Kutty has refused to abide by the directions of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to order an inquiry into the metro fare hike.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday had asked the chief secretary to issue an order, directing the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) to examine whether the metro fare hike was a “justified” move or could have been avoided. But, sources told The Statesman that the chief secretary on Friday refused to order any inquiry on the matter.

Sources said that upset over the development, the Chief Minister summoned the chief secretary in the evening at his residence with the copy of the order issued to him, but the CS categorically refused to follow the CM’s order at his face.

A close aide of the CM, terming the chief secretary’s behaviour “unconstitutional and undemocratic” alleged that the CS is taking orders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is acting against the elected Delhi government.

“This incident makes it clear that the CS has the backing of the BJP-led Centre and is sabotaging the Delhi government’s efforts to provide relief to the people of Delhi by getting the fare hike inquired,” he said.

The Delhi government and the Centre have been at loggerheads over the Metro fare hike. On 29 September, Kejriwal had requested the Central government to put the metro fare hike on hold till the issue will be solved amicably. The fare hike that came into effect on 10 October increased ticket prices to Rs 10 for all travels beyond 5 km.

“The government now is of the view that such bureaucrats must have sabotaged the elected government’s stand on the metro fare hike in the DMRC board meeting which decided on the hike,” said a close aide of CM.