Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal met with the Delhi LG over his delay in clearing the file for the Services Secretary’s transfer, on Friday. On May 17, the Delhi Government had sent the file concerning the Services Secretary’s transfer to the LG. Unfortunately, despite the urgent nature of the matter, his clearance is still pending. The delay has hindered the government’s ability to execute essential tasks and fulfil its responsibilities effectively, in light of the Supreme Court order on Services. The Chief Minister expressed his concern over the prolonged delay in the transfer process, emphasising the urgency of the situation. As per the CM, the Lieutenant Governor has assured him that the file would be cleared soon.

Prior to the CM and LG’s meeting, five Cabinet Ministers of the Delhi Government, namely, Shri Kailash Gahlot, Shri Gopal Rai, Shri Imran Hussain, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj and Ms Atishi had to stage a dharna for one and a half hours outside the LG Office, demanding an appointment with him. This protest underscored the frustration and urgency surrounding the pending approval. Their determination to obtain the LG’s appointment also highlighted the pressing need for immediate action.

Furthermore, Cabinet Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj also raised serious allegations against the Chief Secretary, accusing him of making death threats. He promptly lodged a complaint with the LG and demanded appropriate action against the Chief Secretary.

After a meeting with the LG, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal provided an update on the status of the file regarding the transfer of the Services Secretary. The CM said, “I met with the LG and inquired about the timeline for the approval of the file concerning the transfer of the Services Secretary. In response, the LG assured me that he is in the process of sending it. I am hopeful that the LG will expeditiously forward the file for the transfer of the Services Secretary. It is important to note that service secretaries hold a pivotal role as they oversee all administrative transfers. Hence, it was imperative to initiate the transfer process with the Services Secretary.”

Furthermore, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal addressed circulating rumours suggesting that the central government intends to introduce an ordinance to overturn the Supreme Court’s order. The CM expressed his hope that these rumours are unfounded and without any basis. He emphasised that if such an ordinance were to be introduced by the central government, it would be a severe betrayal to the people of Delhi and the nation as a whole. He highlighted that the Supreme Court’s decision, made by a constitutional bench, has brought happiness to the people of Delhi, as it allows their elected government to work effectively on their behalf.

Earlier, at approximately 4:30 PM, five cabinet ministers of the Delhi government attempted to meet the LG to inquire about the reason behind the delay in granting approval for the file. However, they were prevented from meeting with the LG. Subsequently, Cabinet Ministers Shri Kailash Gahlot, Shri Gopal Rai, Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj, Ms Atishi, and Shri Imran Hussain staged a protest outside the LG’s office despite the scorching heat, hoping for a response from the LG. With determination, the ministers endured the challenging weather conditions and continued the protest for approximately one and a half hours until they were finally granted a meeting with the LG.

Following the meeting, Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj shared his account, stating, “I explicitly informed LG Sahab that on May 16, I waited for the Chief Secretary until 9:30 PM, expecting him to arrive for a meeting with the CSB. I sent several WhatsApp messages to the Chief Secretary, and he indicated that he would come. However, when the Chief Secretary finally came to my cabin around 9:30 PM, he issued a threat to kill me. I have brought this threat, made by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, to the attention of LG Sahab. The LG has expressed a commitment to taking appropriate action regarding this matter. We strongly advocate for strict action to be taken against Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar.”

In the midst of the ongoing situation, Cabinet Minister Shri Kailash Gahlot, who participated in the protest outside the LG House, voiced concerns regarding the time taken for each file’s processing. He questioned the functioning of the elected government if such delays persist. He emphasised the importance of the elected government’s ability to make necessary changes, including the transfer of a Services Secretary, for effective governance. He further expressed apprehension that the LG’s non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders indicates an intention to hinder the work of the Delhi government and the well-being of its people.

Cabinet Minister Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj highlighted the central government’s unease following the Supreme Court’s order by the Constitutional Bench. In line with some rumours, he speculated that the central government and the LG might be conspiring to introduce an ordinance clandestinely to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision. Their motive would be to maintain control over Delhi’s power despite the implications of the court’s ruling, which aims to grant more authority to Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the elected government, he said.

Cabinet Minister Ms Atishi emphasised that the transfer file of the Services Secretary has been pending with the LG for the past two days without being signed. She referred to the clear order issued by the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Bench on May 11, affirming that, except for land, law, and public order, all powers rest with the elected government. As per the court’s decision, the LG is obligated to respect the elected government’s choices. However, the LG’s refusal to sign the file, coupled with reports of threats to officials and the impending possibility of an ordinance, undermines the authority of the elected government and disregards their mandate, she said.

Cabinet Minister Shri Gopal Rai questioned why the LG is failing to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision despite the court’s clear pronouncement. He highlighted that the file for the transfer of the Services Secretary has been with the LG for the past two days. Moreover, he expressed concerns over reported threats to officials and the impending introduction of an ordinance, suggesting a dismissive attitude towards the elected government’s legitimate authority.

Cabinet Minister Shri Imran Hussain emphasised that the two crore people of Delhi have elected Shri Arvind Kejriwal as their leader. The Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court has unequivocally delivered its decision, he said. He appealed to the LG to implement the Supreme Court’s orders and expedite the approval of the file for the transfer of the Services Secretary, keeping the interests of the people of Delhi at the forefront.

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