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Delhi Metro panel row: After Centre opposition to AAP picks, transport dept raises red flag

It is learnt that Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has received multiple communications from the highest levels of the department, suggesting that only the L-G is authorised to nominate members to the DMRC board on the state government’s behalf.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Updated: July 20, 2019 9:16:50 am
Delhi, Delhi news, Delhi metro, delhi metro row, DMRC, DMRC board, Kailash Gahlot, Delhi AAP, Arvind Kejriwal, delhi transport dept, Indian Express Transport minister Gahlot with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (File)

The Delhi government’s move to nominate political faces to the DMRC board is facing resistance not just from the Centre but from within as well, with the Transport Department stressing that only the Lt-Governor can clear such appointments.

It is learnt that Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has received multiple communications from the highest levels of the department, suggesting that only the L-G is authorised to nominate members to the DMRC board on the state government’s behalf.

However, Gahlot has dismissed the department’s contention, asserting that he has the final say over the nominations by virtue of his office. All Delhi government ministers recently issued circulars reiterating that the L-G’s concurrence or approval is needed only on subjects that concern police, public order and land.

The DMRC board, which can have a maximum of 17 members, is the highest decision-making body of the corporation.

The Delhi government’s decision to nominate AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Atishi, Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi vice-chairman Jasmine Shah and Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta’s son Naveen Gupta to the DMRC board has run into opposition from the Centre, which has requested that the names be withdrawn.

The Centre had argued that as per approvals of the Metro projects by the GOI, DMRC is required to adopt guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises to strengthen corporate governance. Gahlot responded by saying that the DPE guidelines recommend that non-government officials should be appointed in larger numbers to make the boards more professional.

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