K J ALPHONS, the former bureaucrat-turned-administrator who claimed he was told by the Union Home Minister that he had been appointed as Chandigarh Administrator, said he was disappointed at the government’s U-turn in the matter.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Alphons said, “I am disappointed. In fact, once when you make plans and then they are called off, you get disappointed. Initially when I got a call from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, frankly speaking, I wasn’t that happy to move out of Delhi.
Later, I got thousands and thousands of congratulatory messages and I got thrilled to come to a city that I have heard a lot about. I had plans to raise Chandigarh’s global stature.”
BJP chief Amit Shah told him on Wednesday evening that the orders had been “withheld”, but Alphons said he received a phone call in the morning from Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi that it had been cancelled.
“I got a call from the Home Secretary this morning who told me that he has been instructed by the Home Minister to convey to me that the appointment is not going to take place. The plans to have a UT Administrator have been called off,” he said.
Alphons said that the decision to retain the Punjab Governor as the UT Administrator would be detrimental for Chandigarh.
“I just heard that Punjab Governor has been given the charge of UT Administrator. My chapter is closed now. I can just say that Chandigarh requires a full-time administrator and not someone who has additional charge. Administrator for UT can’t be someone with part-time job,” he said.
The former bureaucrat-turned-politician said the Punjab elections were the main reason for the last-minute change in the decision.
“Punjab was worried as having a full-time UT Administrator means giving away Chandigarh which could have been damaging for them since elections are ahead,” Alphons said, adding that he had been administrator for few hours “only in the media”.