Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot Thursday said that since the Delhi government and the Centre are equal partners in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the Centre has “no right” to dictate who the other partner should nominate to the board.
Gahlot’s letter comes after the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs wrote to the Delhi Chief Secretary “advising” the state government against nominating Aam Aadmi Party members instead of bureaucrats to the DMRC board.
Gahlot also said that since the Delhi government officers appointed to the DMRC board previously were junior, they were “unable to speak freely and fearlessly” in front of the Housing and Urban Affairs secretary, who is the Central government’s nominee.
The Delhi government nominated AAP’s Lok Sabha candidates Atishi and Raghav Chadha, vice-chairperson of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi Jasmine Shah, and chartered accountant and son of Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta, Naveen Gupta, to the board.
In its letter, the ministry had said that guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) state that officers dealing with the enterprise concerned or handling the issues of the sector should be nominated as government nominees.
Gahlot, though, said the DPE order states the opposite of what the ministry claimed. “DPE… instructed all Government Departments to bring down the number of Government Directors on Board of Directors of PSUs to two… In fact, these guidelines strongly recommend that non-government officials should be nominated as Board Members,” the letter states.
Gahlot also brought up the nomination of BJP leaders to PSU boards. “In fact, there are innumerable instances when the central government has nominated private individuals on the boards of various public service enterprises. For instance, Ms. Shazia Ilmi and Mr. Sambit Patra, both political persons, are directors on the Board of Engineers India Limited and ONGC respectively… Late Shri Madal Lal Khurana was appointed as Director and Chairman of DMRC by the previous NDA Government. What domain expertise did he have? In sharp contrast, two of our nominees are Chartered Accountants and one of them is an Engineer from IIT,” he said.