The open tussle between Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary will demoralise the bureaucracy, three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said on Monday.Any differences between the various arms of the government were "not for public consumption and should be settled internally", Dikshit told IANS.Asked about the issue of demarcation of powers between the Lt. Governor and the chief minister, Dikshit said: "The article under which Delhi was given its state status clearly demarcates the areas under the LG and the CM. It says LG will have land and police. All IAS officers report to the home ministry."
"However, the public at large expects results from the CM, not from the LG or the home ministry even if it is an area that the former does not wield any power over."Dikshit said the issue was "too minor" to merit such a reaction from the Delhi government."It is a matter of appointing an acting chief secretary for 15-20 days. What is the issue? And if you feel she (Gamlin) has some links with the power firms, then keep her out of the power ministry. But you can't just keep someone out because you have a feeling. What are the power minister and others doing?" she asked.Dikshit said, normally, the next seniormost official was appointed the acting official in charge."I think Naini Jayaseelan (Delhi financial commissioner) is the other officer. However, in this case, she did not want to do it for some reason, so Gamlin's name came up," the Congress leader said.
Kejriwal on Sunday attacked the Narendra Modi government over Gamlin's appointment, saying it was a move meant to trip his government.Other political leaders commented that the Dikshit government had it relatively easy since the Congress was in power at the Centre, and now having a different political party leading the central government could create problems for the Delhi government.Dikshit, however, refuted this."If you remember, when I had my first term (as Delhi chief minister), the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee-led NDA government was in power. But we did manage to get things done. I didn’t have it easy," she said.In fact, Dikshit said she had actively lobbied for more power for the city government with the UPA government as well, asking for, among other things, control over traffic and policing in the capital.
"Whenever problems came up, I sat down with the central government ministers and settled matters amicably. There are three studies that recommend greater powers for the Delhi state government. But it has not been granted because of various issues. The central government did not agree. You have to also remember that Delhi is the capital state of India," she said.Dikshit, who served as chief minister for 15 years, said the time for political blame-game was over."Such political fights happen at the time of elections, which has passed. Now the public has voted Kejriwal to power, so he should work instead of being involved in such a tussle," she said.The Congress leader said the tussle shows "lack of proper coordination" between the two leaders, which will affect the people of the city, and the officials would be confused over whom to listen to.The tussle erupted on May 15 over the appointment of Gamlin as the chief secretary in-charge. The chief minister accused her of lobbying for power distribution companies.