Nine advisors to Delhi govt sacked: Centre's decision escalates feud with state, complicates Arvind Kejriwal's job as CM
This development has escalated the rift between the Centre and the state government and will only further complicate Arvind Kejriwal’s job as Delhi chief minister.
Escalating the rift between the Delhi government and the Centre, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday sacked nine advisors to various departments of the state government on the grounds that their appointments were not sanctioned by the Centre. The Delhi government denied the charge and termed the move as an attempt at sabotage.
In the order issued Tuesday, the MHA said these posts on which the appointees are officiating are not in the list of posts approved for the ministers and the chief minister. It further said no prior approval of the Centre had been taken for creation of these posts, which is a requirement as per law.
The order further clarified, “Services under the NCT of Delhi is a subject reserved for central government as per the Constitution Therefore, creation of posts by Delhi cabinet for accommodating these appointees is void ab-initio, being done by an agency not competent under the law to do so”.
The advisors sacked after the order are: Amardeep Tiwary (media advisor to law minister), Prashant Saxena (consultant in the office of Minister of Power, PWD, Health, Industries), Rajat Tiwary (aide-de-camp, office of Minister of Power, PWD, Health Industries and Home), Atishi Marlena (advisor to deputy chief minister), Raghav Chaddha (advisor to the finance minister), Ram Kumar Jha (logistics advisor in the office of minister GAD) Dinkar Adeeb (OSD to minister home/pwd/power/) and Arunodoy Prakash (media advisor to deputy chief minister).
The order triggered an immediate reaction from the Delhi government. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said four of the nine officials are not working in the Delhi government and another four are working at the posts created by earlier governments. Sisodia also alleged the order was issued to oust Atishi Marlena, advisor to deputy chief minister, who is looking after the implementation of education schemes envisaged by the Delhi government.
“She is an Oxford graduate and a Rhodes Scholar working with the Delhi education department at a salary of Re 1 month. She is the one looking after schemes such as Buniyaad to educate kids from the poorer section”, Sisodia said.
He added that the Centre wanted Marlena out of the job so that changes in the education department can be stopped. Taking a swipe at the Centre, Raghav Chadha tweeted:
Impressive diversionary tactics by the MHA, at the behest of BJP. To divert attention from spate of rapes, cash crunch etc. an opportune time to rake up non issues with AAP like retrospective sacking for a post I held for 45days in 2016 for a paltry sum of Rs.2.50/-
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) April 17, 2018
Chadha also tweeted his appointment letter.
This development has escalated the rift between the Centre and the state government and will only further complicate Arvind Kejriwal’s job as Delhi chief minister. Significantly, this is only one of many examples of a decision taken by the Delhi government being overturned by another authority.
In December, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal decided to withhold a much publicised bill to regularise 15,000 guest teachers passed by the Delhi government.
On the same day, the Delhi High Court stayed the government circular on fee hikes in private schools. A day prior to that, the Appellate Authority stayed the government order cancelling the license of Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh.
The government had cited the negligence of hospital doctors and the institution repeatedly defying its orders as grounds for cancelling its licence. Prior to this, 14 bills passed by the Delhi Assembly were rejected by the Centre, which caused a major rift.
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