AAP govt accuses fired babu Ashish Joshi of running vilification drive against it

The Delhi government has sparked another controversy after the removal of Indian Post and Telecommunication Finance Service officer Ashish Joshi from the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) and his subsequent repatriation from the Delhi government to the union ministry of communications and information technology.

In a letter to the Telecom Secretary, a note was sent by DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan to DDC chairman, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, which said that “on several occasions, he (Joshi) has been found smoking cigars and chewing tobacco within office premises.” The letter was sent in April-end.

Ashish Khetan had alleged that despite polite exhortations not to consume tobacco within office premises, Joshi continued to smoke cigars and consume tobacco.

Joshi, however has maintained that he smokes cigars but not in the office premises. He said that he consumes non-vegetarian dishes, alcohol, but in his personal space rather than office premises.

Speaking to ANI, Joshi said, “Main toh bas cigar peeta hoon, unka kya jo logon ka khoon peetey hain (I only smoke cigar, but what about those who suck blood of others).”

 AAP govt accuses fired babu Ashish Joshi of running vilification drive against it

Ashish Joshi. Image: CNN IBN

He added, “What I do in my personal life is not related to my work. As long as I don't consume cigars in office, its no one's business.”

Joshi is further quoted by Indian Express as saying "It is a pity that after a month’s research, all they could come up with is that I consume gutka. I am not aware of this purported letter. If it is true, you can see that it is a classic case of a witch hunt.” He added that even if this charge was true, it does not merit the action that has been meted out.

The Delhi government on Saturday then refuted media reports about its decision to relieve bureaucrat Ashish Joshi, who was relieved of his charge as member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) within a month of his appointment and alleged that the officer has been running a “systematic vilification campaign” against it.

But another Indian Express report further pointed out that Joshi, in an email written to Delhi chief secretary K K Sharma, had stated that members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had misbehaved with him on March 29. On April 17, the Delhi government issued marching orders to Joshi.

The Aam Aadmi Party government, in its first statement on the issue ever since the controversy broke out in April,  said it took strong exception to the attempts being made to trivialise the reasons for relieving Joshi from the additional charge of member-secretary of DDC and his repatriation to his parent cadre. The government also alleged that Joshi has been “harassing” its officials since he was relieved from his additional duty and has been making “unsuccessful attempts” to contact its officers through e-mail and on telephone.”

"Attention of Delhi government has been drawn towards motivated reports in a section of media about reasons for its decision to relieve an officer from the additional charge of member secretary of DDC, who was on deputation from the Central government," AAP said in a statement. Noting that “normally” the government does not react to “insinuations” by individuals, it stressed that in the present case, since the officer concerned has been running a “systematic vilification campaign” against the Delhi government based on “false allegations and twisted facts”, the government decided to make a public statement.

“The officer concerned is supposed to be aware of the conduct rules of service. There are clear instances of multiple violations of these rules by this officer which have now been duly communicated to his parent cadre,” the statement alleged.

The government has apprised the concerned central government department about specific instances of misconduct and misbehaviour by Joshi, his attempts to interfere in the functioning of its various government departments and adverse comments made by him against senior officials,” it said.

It also alleged that Joshi appears to be spreading “confusion” about his deputation from the Centre to Delhi Government.

"Deputation is an arrangement between lending and accepting departments of the officer concerned, which can be discontinued in cases of disagreements and lack of faith in a particular officer,” the government said.

Replying to a recent press release issued by AAP government, Joshi had said, “There is an urgent requirement of ‘vipassana’ and ‘anapana’ practice/training by one and all in Delhi Government.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 11, 2015 07:17:54 IST