The notification being disputed
The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notification this morning regarding the distribution of powers between the offices of the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi Chief Minister.
The notification said Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has primacy in deciding on postings and transfers of officers belonging to the Central services.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal immediately reacted saying that the notification on power sharing in the administration of the capital city was indicative of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nervousness about the Aam Aadmi Party’s anti-corruption efforts.
“BJP first lost Delhi elections. Today’s notification shows BJP’s nervousness about our anti-corruption efforts. BJP again lost today,” Kejriwal said on twitter.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also criticised the notification, terming it as an attempt to “save the transfer-posting industry being run in Delhi”.
“The notification makes it clear how afraid the transfer-posting industry in Delhi is of our government,” Sisodia said on twitter.
Kejriwal – Jung play ping pong with officers’ postings
The MHA notification comes after Jung on Wednesday declared as invalid all bureaucratic appointments made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government without consulting him in the last four days.
Jung and Kejriwal are at loggerheads over the appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary despite the city government’s opposition.
Jung’s office had yesterday also issued a statement saying the Delhi Lieutenant Governor alone was the competent authority to approve the transfer and posting of all secretary-level officers.
To prove his authority and oppose Jung AAP government has gone to the extent of locking a senior IAS officer out of his office last week.
This quarrel had even been taken to the President and his opinion is still awaited by all three parties – Delhi CM, Lt. Governor Jung and Central Government.
Though many may be sympathizing with Kejriwal not being given a free hand in running his show, the disputes and the open ‘war fare’ about it could still have been avoided.
Why Kejriwal doesn’t trust Jung?
Remember Jung has been the Lt. Governor of Delhi for the last two years and was appointed by the UPA. He and Kejriwal had a fall out in AAP’s first stint of ruling Delhi too but it did not reach a crescendo like this time since Kejriwal resigned in 49 days before it could happen.
If you look at Jung’s career, and various positions occupied by him, you can understand AAP’s antipathy to him.
Though Jung is an IAS officer he has had interesting innings with pvt sector too – specially Reliance.
He quit the service in 1995 after his stint as joint secretary (exploration) . Jung played a crucial role in the privatization of ONGC’s Panna-Mukta oilfield that went to a consortium of Reliance-ONGC and British Gas. Jung also had a stint in the Asian Development Bank. Later, he became director, energy research, in Reliance-run Observer Research Foundation.
Najeeb Jung is considered an Energy specialist and is also currently doing Ph.D. in the subject.
Providing cheap power to citizens of Delhi has been the corner stone of AAP’s manifesto. Clashes of opinion between the two on this subject are therefore bound to be there with Jung expected to side with the Power companies like Reliance. Even his appointment of Gamlin as Chief Secretary is being opposed on these grounds of closeness to power companies.
Why Delhi will always remain a half state?
What do Delhi, Washington DC of USA and Ottawa of Canada have in common?
All three are capital cities of the country and governed by special laws that curtail powers of local governments; sometime even local populace. Readers may find it strange to learn that citizens of Washington DC did not even right to vote in Presidential elections till 1961!
In fact, both Washington DC and Ottawa do not have Governors ( as heads of state are called there). They are ruled by Mayors who have strong but limited powers of administration. They mostly look after Health, Education etc.
Delhi in fact, has more of local governance than these two cities. Earlier it too was a complete Union territory.
The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Act gave Delhi its own legislative assembly .
along Civil lines, though with limited powers.
Since then Delhi has been ruled mostly by Congress with NDA enjoying a stint too – but never was there a clash between the CM and Lt. Governor as is being seen now.
The reason why status of Delhi and distribution of power between state and Centre will remain nebulous is that Delhi is also the seat of the Central Government where the PM and other Ministers live and work. There is no way that they will come under the jurisdiction of the Delhi C.M.
Also, since the attack on Parliament and other terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds in Delhi area, security is a sensitive issue and will be handled by Home Ministry only.
It will therefore be wise of Kejriwal and Sisodia to accept their limitations and make peace with Jung and the given situation and do their best in matters they control.
Even if, there is some grain of truth in their allegations that Modi is purposely hampering their work, they cannot do much about it. If they go on protesting, people will soon start getting fed up.
After all, how often can you cry Wolf?