The Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi has been once again found working against the interests of the city. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has revealed that the LG took no action against two senior IAS officers – Principal Secretary (Finance) AC Verma and Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Singla – despite their actions causing havoc in the lives of Delhi residents.
The AAP held a press conference on Monday, where, AAP Chief Spokesperson and MLA Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj, explained that the Delhi Vidhan Sabha’s Petition Committee adopted three reports during the previous session. The first report concerned the sudden removal of OPD Counter staff from government hospitals in Delhi. The removal of these workers led to chaos and apathy across most government hospitals in Delhi. It was discovered that two senior IAS officers of the Government had manipulated files, causing discontinuation at OPD Counters. The Vidhan Sabha recommended that the LG take strict action against Verma and Singla, but no action was taken by the LG.
The second issue was that the Health department failed to provide renumeration to doctors and medical staff in the Mohalla Clinics of Delhi, despite having crores of rupees in their bank account. The diagnostic tests at Muholla clinic were also stopped arbitrarily.The same two IAS officers were responsible for this problem as well.
The third issue was on the matter of providing pension to senior citizens of Delhi. Despite adequate funds being with the Delhi Government, the pension of senior citizens was blocked at the level of the officers around the time of Diwali. It was only after the Petition Committee looked into this matter that it was released after a delay of several months. The committee had asked the LG to take action against the director of the Social Welfare Department, but no action was taken.
The Petition Committee was successful in identifying the problem and providing solutions, but now the LG Office has written a letter to the Chief Secretary of Delhi and also to the Vidhan Sabha asking whether the steps taken by the various committees against the errant officials are permitted. The LG in a way accused the committees of preventing government officials in discharging their dar to day official duties.
AAP Chief Spokesperson Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj stated that this is extremely shameful of the LG. Instead of taking action against errant officers, he is now pointing at the committee that were trying to ensure that the people do not suffer because of the mischief of the government officers. He further asked how a person holding a constitutional office can support government officers who had intentionally hatched such conspiracy that were against the residents of Delhi. The actions of these officers had forced senior citizens, some of them as old as 70-75 years, to run around government offices and find out why their pension had not yet been released.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj went on to show video clips related to these matters. He first showed a video clip in which a family could be seen pleading for their ration, which had been denied to them, despite them being registered in the area. He claimed that this matter was also under the watch of the Petition Committee where families in Delhi had claimed that under the pretext of One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), they were being denied their share of ration supplies. He added that the Petition Committee had also summoned the officials of Food and Civil Supplies and asked them questions related to this matter. He further explained that this one particular family could not collect their ration supply because of a death in their family, but a few days later and within the same month, when they visited their ration store to collect their supply, they were informed that it had gotten over. He added that the committee had asked the officials how a beneficiary who is attached to a ration shop can be denied their share.
He showed another video during the press conference in which two elderly citizens could be seen talking about their problem in getting their pension on time. Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that there are many other senior citizens who have raised the same problem and he explained that these people had not received their pension since November 2021. It has been over a year since they received their pension and in the video they can be seen saying that in the meanwhile they have gone to a pension office in Lajpat Nagar over five times as well as to their local MLA to ask about when they will receive their pension.
He further said that it was shameful that common citizens had to suffer because of the malafide intent of certain senior government officials and when the LG is asked to punish these officials, he tries to protect them and instead attack the Vidhan Sabha committee that conducted a probe on the matter. “Therefore when the Delhi Vidhan Sabha asks the LG to take strict action against errant officials because of whom the citizens, as seen in these videos, are suffering, we think that any LG who has any moral responsibility towards the people of Delhi, will certainly take action. But instead of taking any action against errant officials in these matters, the LG is now attempting to disrupt the committees of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha that is going out of its way to ensure that doctors and medical staff gets their salaries on time and the pension that is due to senior citizens is provided to them. But for the LG, this amounts to interference in the tasks of the officials and I think that is extremely shameful. Therefore our doubts have only been cleared by this action of the LG, that it was him who was responsible for the suffering of the residents of Delhi and these officials were merely doing what the LG had asked them to do,” he said.