Amid row with AAP, Delhi L-G locks think-tank chief's office
The tussle between Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) VK Saxena and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday reached a new level after the former locked the office of Jasmine Shah, the vice-chairperson of Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD). Besides, the privileges of the high-ranking government official have also been withdrawn, intensifying the row between the L-G and the ruling AAP government.
Why does this story matter?
- The chequered relationship between the L-G and the AAP in the national capital has become routine as the former is seen as the representative of the central government being run by AAP's rival—Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- Earlier, on Saxena's recommendation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the house and named Manish Sisodia in a corruption case related to the now-withdrawn Delhi liquor policy.
What happened to Shah's office?
As per NDTV, DDCD vice-chairperson Shah's office was locked on Thursday and various facilities and privileges granted to him, including his official vehicle and staff, were also revoked. To recall, Shah was appointed as the head of DDCD, a think tank that AAP calls the backbone of Delhi's development, last month. The DDCD chief's post is equivalent to the rank of a Delhi minister.
Why were Shah's privileges revoked?
The facilities granted to Shah, also an AAP leader, were withdrawn as he was accused of using the office for political gains. Earlier, Saxena issued a show cause notice to Shah as BJP MP Parvesh Verma had complained against him for "misusing" the office. Accusing Shah of violating the "principle of neutrality," Verma claimed he acted as the AAP's official spokesperson for "political gains."
AAP accuses Saxena of going beyond his powers
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the AAP—who shares a soured relationship with the L-G—has asserted Shah has been appointed by cabinet and Saxena does not have the authority to interfere. Earlier, in response to the show cause notice by Saxena, Shah had also stated that the Delhi-L-G "has no jurisdiction" over the office of the DDCD vice-chairperson.
Kejriwal's party accuses Saxena of corruption
Saxena and the AAP have remained at loggerheads since the former's appointment as Delhi's L-G in May this year. Last month, they both had a tussle over cleanliness, with the AAP attacking the BJP-controlled Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The AAP has, meanwhile, demanded a CBI probe against Saxena, accusing him of corruption while serving as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission chairman in 2016.
Images showing DDCD vice-chairperson's sealed office
Delhi | Office of Vice Chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), Jasmine Shah sealed.— ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2022
LG VK Saxena asked CM Kejriwal to remove Shah from the post of Vice Chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) for misusing his office for political purposes. pic.twitter.com/VkgSOHNMOH