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Stand-off intensifies

Amid the ongoing row between Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary, the AAP government on Saturday removed Anindo Majumdar from his post as Principal Secretary (Services) and accused the BJP of endeavouring to stage a “coup” against it through the LG. This is the latest in an extended turf war which has been brewing between Kejriwal and Jung for almost a year now. Previously Arvind Kejriwal had vociferously protested the installment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting secretary. During this whole <g data-gr-id="24">episode</g> Jung maintains that he has acted within the clearly defined confines of the Constitution with respect to the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary. 

The opposition which in Delhi assembly means the three elected members belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party have called the whole episode as a concerted effort to character <g data-gr-id="23">assassinate</g> Gamlin. However on deeper examination this claim by the opposition does not ring true. It is alleged by AAP that the centre has been repeatedly meddling with the appointment of IAS officers in the AGMUT cadre-the parent cadre which governs Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and other Union Territories (including Delhi). A brief look at official websites <g data-gr-id="20">show</g> that the shuffles of civil servants have been arbitrary and without any stated administrative intent. Further examination reveals that a slew of political appointee’s have repeatedly been allocated to the state of Delhi with some being reportedly close to the Bharatiya Janata Party dispensation. However, the more pertinent allegation has to do with Najeeb Jung’s curious past. 

It is true that Aam Aadmi party and Najeeb Jung have had a festering love-hate relationship, however, AAP’s allegations do have a grain of truth to them. Kejriwal’s scathing diatribe is the latest in a long series of potshots that the Delhi Chief Minister has taken at Jung. It is true that Jung has worked for Reliance that cannot be an excuse to cast aspersions on his integrity, but it is quite apparent that some of the decisions he has made in the past one and a half years have been curious to say the least. It’s also true that by meddling with the civil servants appointment roster, Jung has bypassed the democratically elected government. Whether this was politically motivated or not, remains to be seen in the coming days.
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