While the agenda of the upcoming Assembly session is “full statehood”, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, who is at loggerheads with the Delhi government, is set to come under fire from AAP MLAs during the proceedings.
A purported query from Prakash on the validity of question hour during special sessions of the Delhi Assembly has triggered a fresh row between the government and the top officer.
Sources in the Delhi Secretariat, however, rejected the allegations, dubbing them as “irresponsible”.
The fresh allegation against Prakash comes two days after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused him of adopting a “careless” attitude on the Signature Bridge project.
On Friday, he came under attack from the chairpersons of Delhi Assembly panels.
“Question hour is an integral part of our democratic polity. It has existed even before the RTI Act came into being. It is a democratic tool to keep the executive accountable. The chief secretary has no business seeking any legal opinion on the validity of question hour,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, who heads a House committee, told The Indian Express.
In a joint statement, the chairpersons claimed, “It has been brought to our notice that the chief secretary is threatening Vidhan Sabha officials and asking them to avoid question hour during the three-day Assembly session scheduled to take place on June 6, 7 and 8. Further, the chief secretary is pressuring the law department to extract a wrongful opinion on the issue, in which neither the department nor the chief secretary have any locus to either seek or give an opinion.” Apart from Bhardwaj, the statement was signed by Rakhi Birla, Sanjeev Jha, Madan Lal and Vishesh Ravi.
However, they couldn’t produce any documented proof of Prakash’s alleged interference.
“We will write to the Speaker and request him to ensure that the supremacy and sovereignty of the Legislature is maintained…,” the statement added.
The row between the government and Prakash started after the latter was allegedly assaulted during a meeting at the CM’s residence on February 19.
During the last Assembly session, the issue of bureaucrats not answering questions on reserved subjects — as per an order of L-G Anil Baijal — had led to uproar among AAP MLAs.