Row over removal of DERC chief, Arvind Kejriwal cancels LG’s order

LG had directed removal of Saini and an order to this effect was issued yesterday.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 5, 2016 10:19 pm
Arvind Kejriwal, Najeeb Jung, DERC, Kejriwal DERC row, Kejriwal DERC, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (PTI Photo)

The removal of Krishna Saini as DERC Chairman has triggered yet another row between the Lt Governor and AAP government with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “cancelling” the LG’s order, alleging it was part of a conspiracy to increase power tariff in the national capital. Kejriwal also attacked LG Najeeb Jung for removing Sukesh Jain from the post of Power Secretary, which he alleged was done as the officer did not cancel Saini’s appointment
notification as told by the LG office.

LG had directed removal of Saini and an order to this effect was issued yesterday. Sukesh Jain was threatened of “serious consequences” as he initially turned down the LG office’s alleged directive to remove Saini with immediate effect, Kejriwal alleged. “It’s sad that he (Jung) is cutting salaries of people, stopping mohalla clinics, closing schools. He has turned governance into a joke in Delhi. Does he intend to shut down Delhi?” Kejriwal asked.

The Delhi government has issued show cause notices to the Deputy Secretary (general administration department) and other officers who issued the order cancelling Saini’s appointment, Kejriwal told a press conference. “There’s a big conspiracy to increase power tariff in Delhi. An honest officer like Krishna Saini was appointed by following the due process. “We kept LG in the loop when the selection committee was formed in January. We sent him the information of selecting him as well. Why did the LG choose to act eight months later? On whose directions?” the Chief Minister asked.

Sources in the LG office claimed the government was needlessly dragging it into the case, which it said amounted
to undermining constitutional and judicial authorities as the Delhi High Court has already upheld the LG’s order on the DERC appointment issue.

The sources added that contrary to Kejriwal’s claim, the government was sent five reminders asking it to re-process the appointment of DERC as LG’s prior approval was not taken while appointing Saini. Meanwhile, Sukesh Jain, who has been replaced by Varsha Joshi as Power Secretary, will continue to serve as OSD to the CM.

“BSES discoms are owned by Anil Ambani who is a close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There must be a reason that compelled the discoms to conspire to remove him,” Kejriwal alleged. “Saini took a number of pro-public decisions and riled the power companies in the process. He put an end to their thuggery,” he claimed.

He said that Power Minister Satyendar Jain had written to the LG twice informing that matters that involve differences of opinion should be forwarded to the President, but “LG did not do so and acted unilaterally”. “The file from LG’s office came to me a week ago and I was in the process of consulting legal experts. On November 3 night, (former) Power Secretary Sukesh Jain got a call from the LG office asking him to cancel Saini’s appointment
notification.

“The LG office called him again yesterday morning to put pressure. Who put pressure on the LG to resort to such illegal and unconstitutional steps? The BJP-led Centre wants Ambani’s person as DERC chief,” Kejriwal alleged, adding “we will fight and resist any such move”.