In the first indication of a thaw in its dealings with the central government, the Aam Aadmi Party-led government has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in an attempt to resolve the bitter dispute over the appointment of the Delhi home secretary. The AAP has given the MHA a list with the names of three IAS officers for a final approval.
For almost a month now, Delhi has limped ahead with two home secretaries – Dharam Pal, appointed by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and backed by the MHA — and Rajendra Kumar, the Delhi government’s choice and Secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Current Home Secretary Dharam Pal is likely to get a central deputation soon.
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The list of bureaucrats for the post comprise Principal Secretary (Finance) S N Sahai, Secretary to CM Rajendra Kumar and Secretary (Urban Development) Chetan B Sanghi. Sources said Sahai was the Delhi government’s top choice.
A senior official said the file with the three names was sent to Lt Governor Jung for approval 10 days ago. “The LG has forwarded the request to the MHA. The issue was also discussed with Home Minister Rajnath Singh when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met him recently,” he said.
“AAP leaders were told to send in a list which will be looked into. It was also learnt that a preference for Sahai has been communicated too,” informed a senior official.
The turf war had seen the Delhi government on one side, and the Centre and Lt Governor on the other, entangled in a battle over the appointment of the home secretary. While the Delhi government issued orders to appoint Rajendra Kumar as home secretary, the Lt Governor and MHA overruled it and asked the chief secretary to rescind the order.