The tussle between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over who controls the Delhi bureaucracy intensified Monday as the CM’s office gave orders to lock the office of a senior IAS officer, who last Friday issued an order notifying the appointment of power secretary Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary.
When principal secretary (services) Anindo Majumdar reached his office on the seventh floor of the Delhi Secretariat on Monday morning, he found the entire wing locked on the CM’s orders. Not just Majumdar, other staffers from adjacent rooms, too, were locked out.
Majumdar, who is also secretary, general administration department, has another office, but that too was locked.
A 1985 batch, AGMUT cadre IAS, Majumdar was caught in the crossfire Saturday when he was removed from his posts by the CM. But the same evening, the LG declared the removal order “void”, saying it did not have his approval. The LG reinstated Majumdar.
On Monday evening, Majumdar met Gamlin and gave her a written complaint about the treatment meted out to him.
The same day, the Delhi government deputed Kejriwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar to take charge of Majumdar’s departments, prompting the LG to shoot off another letter to all departments cancelling Kumar’s appointment.
Majumdar is not the only officer to have suffered the brunt of the row between Jung and Kejriwal. Special secretary Ashutosh Kumar, who held additional charge of the services department and had signed the order appointing Gamlin as acting chief secretary, has also been relieved of the charge.
Meanwhile, Gamlin, who has been accused by the CM of lobbying for power companies, met Union Home Secretary L C Goyal on Monday. Sources said only “routine” matters were discussed.
Both Gamlin and Majumdar remained unavailable for comments.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia also entered the fray when he wrote to the LG, telling him that his orders regarding the bureaucracy are “against the provisions of law and constitution and, therefore, cannot be complied with”, sources said. He also told the LG that Kejriwal would write to the PM on the matter, sources said.
On Tuesday, either Kejriwal or Sisodia is expected to meet the President in the evening to discuss the issue.