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Kutty to become Chief Secy, AAP says ‘Centre not allowing Delhi to work’

The issue of appointment of new Chief Secretary in Delhi has initiated a fresh political battle in the already strained relationship between the Centre and the Delhi government. 

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) blamed the Central government for “not allowing” it to work for the people of Delhi. In fact, appointment of the Chief Secretary has been a bone of contention between the two governments since AAP came to power in 2015. 

“The competent authority has approved premature repatriation of 1985 batch IAS officer Kutty to his cadre,” said an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training, Union Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The order has affirmed media speculations that M M Kutty will be the new Chief Secretary of Delhi after transfer of present Chief Secretary K K Sharma. Kutty is presently Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. 

Sharma will be Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Department of Higher Education in the Union HRD Ministry. The orders on Sharma’s transfer came on November 23. He is among the 19 officers transferred and posted by the appointments’ committee of the Cabinet. According to sources, a list of five senior bureaucrats has been shortlisted for appointment as Delhi Chief Secretary and they include Kutty, 1983-batch IAS officer Nutun Guha Biswas and 1985 batch IAS officer Parimal Rai. Kutty was Principal Secretary to the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for a long period. 

Kutty has also been Finance Secretary in the present AAP government before his Central deputation. The name of Nutun Guha Biswas is also doing the rounds for the post of Delhi Chief Secretary. Biswas was former Secretary to LG. 

Flaying the Centre for these transfers and postings, AAP leader Ashutosh said ever since the party has come to power in Delhi, officers who worked well have been removed by the Centre and replaced by those who do not even want to work. 

“They (Centre) are creating circumstances which do not allow the elected government to function for the people but the AAP would continue its good work despite all these obstacles,” said Ashutosh. He also alleged that the AAP government was not consulted on the appointment/s. 

“We hope that whoever is appointed works according to rules and regulations and remains answerable to the public and the Constitution,” added Ashutosh. 

Kutty has also remained the Principal Secretary, Finance,  during the 49 days regime of the Kejriwal government in 2013-14. Kutty, who has also served as Finance Secretary in the past, was part of the committee set up to resolve the issue of temporary, contractual and casual employees in all departments, offices and autonomous bodies under the AAP government. 

As Parimal Rai is considered a tainted bureaucrat having allegations of corruption during Commonwealth Games in the Congress government, the Centre, according to sources, is not in a mood to give him a chance. 

Rai is currently posted in Chandigarh. His name featured in the list of four officers the AAP government wanted to appoint as the acting Chief Secretary in Delhi when K K Sharma had gone on 10 days’ leave in 2015. According to sources, due to the corruption charges against him, LG Najeeb Jung had denied him the post. 
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