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Kejriwal-Jung turf war: Babu’s office found locked, another’s posting declared ‘void’

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: A top Delhi bureaucrat today found his office locked and another’s appointment was declared void as the turf war between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung turned murkier with both sides showing no sign of any let up in ending their bitter fight.

The day began with AAP administration locking the office of Principal Secretary (Services) Anindo Majumdar and subsequently appointing Rajendra Kumar, a senior bureaucrat known to be close to Kejriwal, to the post.

Majumdar had issued an order notifying the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary on Friday.

Promptly reacting to Kumar’s appointment, Jung shot off a letter to Kejriwal, declaring his posting in place of Majumdar “void” and categorically made it clear that he was the final authority for appointment and transfer of senior bureaucrats.

As the letter found way to the media, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted “Strange that a Constitutional Authority leaking letters addressed to Dy CM before it is received. Is it allowed under Constitution of India?”

Earlier in the morning, Majumdar found his office in Delhi Secretariat locked. Sources in the government said the instruction to lock the office came from the Chief Minister’s office.

Majumdar was removed from the post by Kejriwal on Saturday after he issued the appointment letter to Gamlin on instructions from Jung. The LG, on the same evening, had declared the order to transfer Majumdar “void”, saying it did not have his approval.

In his letter to Kejriwal, Jung said, he rejected Kumar’s appointment as it is against the laid down rules and procedure.

Yesterday, Kejriwal had accused Gamlin of trying to favour two Reliance Infra-owned discoms through a Rs 11,000-crore loan and claimed the Modi government wants AAP dispensation to “fail”.

The confrontation over appointment of Gamlin as acting chief secretary had turned into a full-blown war between the ruling AAP and Jung last week with Kejriwal alleging that the LG was trying to take over the administration.

Despite Kejriwal’s strong opposition, Jung had appointed her to the post on Friday. On Saturday, the chief minister had asked her not to take charge of the post but she ignored his directive and followed the LG’s order.

Meanwhile, acting Chief Secretary Gamlin met Union Home Secretary L C Goyal in the afternoon. Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi and Joint Secretary (Union Territory) in the Home Ministry Rakesh Singh were also present during the meeting.

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