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Open war between LG and Kejriwal as Gamlin takes charge

Open war between LG and Kejriwal as Gamlin takes charge

New Delhi: The confrontation over appointment of an acting Chief Secretary Saturday turned into a full blown war between AAP government and Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to work "within the confines" of Constitution and alleging that he was trying to take over the administration.

Hours after senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin took charge as acting Chief Secretary despite being asked not to do so by the AAP government, Kejriwal shot off a strongly-worded letter to Jung, accusing him of trying to render the elected government "ineffective" and violating laid down norms.

Arindam Majumdar, Principal Secretary in Services department who issued the appointment letter of Gamlin following instructions from Jung, was also removed from the post.

The Delhi Chief Minister said he has sought an appointment with the President to apprise him of the issue.

Jung had yesterday appointed Gamlin to the post despite strong opposition to her nomination by Kejriwal dispensation which alleged that she had close links with BSES discoms. The 1984-batch officer has, however, denied the charges saying they were baseless.

In his letter, Kejriwal mentioned about various rules and laid down procedures for governance.

"Despite such clear procedure, you have opted not to follow the law but have tried to take over government and get the order issued directly by the Principal Secretary (Services) who I believe was intimidated into acting in concert with you.

"I cannot but conclude that this is a thinly disguised attempt to reduce the democratically elected government ineffective and administer the National Capital Territory of Delhi directly," Kejriwal said in his letter.

The Chief Minister said, "I would strongly request you to remain within the confines of the Constitution and the laws relating to Government of NCT of Delhi. You are holding a Constitutional position. Whatever be the political pressure, you have a duty to uphold the Constitution."

Chief Secretary K K Sharma has left for the US on a personal visit due to which the government had to appoint an acting Chief Secretary. Gamlin has been serving as Power Secretary.

The AAP government hit out at BJP accusing it of attempting a "coup" through the LG.

"The BJP through LG of Delhi has attempted a coup against the democratically elected government of Delhi with highest ever mandate in the history of the state.

"This is for the first time that LG is issuing direct instruction to officers, bypassing the chief ministers and council of ministers," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the charge of Services department, told PTI.

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