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Delhi LG wants Jasmine Shah removed as DDC vice-chairman

The office chamber of the vice-chairman of Dialogue and Development Commission has been sealed “in order to prevent access to the premises”. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai alleges vendetta.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to remove Jasmine Shah from the post of vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) for allegedly misusing his office for political purposes.

In an order dated November 17, the Delhi lieutenant governor also directed the chief minister to restrict Jasmine Shah from “discharging his duties” as the vice-chairman of DDC and from using any “privilege and facilities” associated with the office of the vice-chairman, DDC with immediate effect till a “decision is taken by CM” in this regard, the LG office said on Friday.

The office chamber of the vice-chairman, DDC at 33, Shamnath Marg in Delhi has been sealed “in order to prevent access to the premises.”

“An administrative order to this effect was issued by the planning department of Delhi Government on Thursday, in compliance with which the SDM, Civil Lines sealed the office premises of DDC late Thursday night,” the LG’s office said.

“Vide order No. 2/12/P1g/DDCD/2022/10895-10900 dated 17.11.2022, the Lt Governor of GNCTD has ordered that Jasmine Shah be restricted from the discharge of functions as Vice Chairman, DDCD and to use any privileges and facilities connected with the office of VC, DDCD with immediate effect,” the order stated.

Reacting to the order, the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) vice-chairman in a statement said, “The action taken by Delhi’s LG to seal my office at DDC and stop me from discharging my duties is without jurisdiction, completely illegal and unconstitutional.”
“The LG has said I cannot act as a spokesperson for AAP while being Vice Chairperson of DDC. I have one question for the LG – Sambit Patra is a National Spokesperson of BJP while also holding the office of Chairman of ITDC. If my office is being sealed, then why not his? How can two laws operate in the same country – one for AAP and one for BJP? It is clear that LG’s order has no basis in law. Last month, a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court, which sought the dismissal of several politically active persons holding positions in Central or State governments, including Sambit Patra and myself,” he said.
“The judges asked a single question that neither the BJP or Central government had any answers for – which law or constitutional provision or rules are being violated if these public servants are politically affiliated? LG’s order today makes no mention of which law or rules are being violated,” he said.
He said the position of Vice Chairperson, DDCD, holds the rank of a Minister in Delhi government.
“If the LG can initiate proceedings against me, tomorrow he can move to dismiss any other Minister or the CM of Delhi for representing AAP at political forums? It is clear that LG’s order is illegal and unconstitutional,” he added.

Meanwhile, reacting to the issue of DDC V-C Jasmine Shah’s office being sealed, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, “Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission has brought many schemes in force. Out of frustration, they have given orders to seal the office of Jasmine Shah by making baseless allegations that he is also the spokesperson of AAP.

“Sambit Patra is the spokesperson of BJP despite holding the post of chairman of ITDC, and yet his office is not sealed. This clearly shows that the BJP is completely flustered and they have no clue what to do. People of Delhi are asking the BJP what they have done in the past 15 years. They are also raising questions against sealing the office of Jasmine Shah, the man who made excellent schemes for the welfare of people of Delhi,” Rai said.

“BJP can say anything to the media but when you go to the streets to ask for votes from the people, then they will have to give answers about what work they have done in 15 years. They will take account of 15 years from the BJP and settle it for once and all,” he said.