New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal government today got unexpected support from Congress in the standoff with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over appointment of the acting chief secretary, while the CPI(M) too backed it.
The parties said appointment of any officer should not be without consultation with the state government. Congress leader and DPCC chief Ajay Maken said the acting chief secretary should have been appointed as per the wishes of the chief minister.
“I entirely agree with one section which says that chief secretary should be appointed with the permission, with the wishes of the chief minister.
“Chief Minister should have the prerogative of appointing chief secretary but within the Constitution. We have the laid down Transaction of Business Rules. The chief secretary should be appointed as per the wishes of chief minister and both these things are possible,” Maken said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said that the Centre should not encroach upon the rights of states in such matters.
“If Centre tries to encroach upon the rights of state government through the LG, if it tries to attack rights of state, then it is wrong. We oppose it,” Yechury added. Maken also slammed BJP and AAP for exploiting the matter for political gains.
Minister for state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had accused the AAP government of indulging in character assassination of Shakuntala Gamlin, a woman IAS officer from the Northeast who was appointed acting chief secretary by Jung, and “disobeying” the Constitution.
“We have heard openly Kejriwal openly alleging that the acting chief secretary has links with the private companies and has criticised her for that and today early in the morning we have seen Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju linking it to North-eastern states and yesterday the BJP linked it to women's issue.
“My request to both these political parties is that don't make these officers a football for your own truf war games,” the Congress leader added.
Reacting to Rijiju's comments, Yechury said if there was any such case, then “the law and order is in the hands of Centre (to take action)”.
However, he added, Centre should not try to encroach upon rights of the state government in appointing officers.