The sources said on Tuesday that the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s advisor VK Jain has resigned from his post mentioning personal reasons and family commitments, days following he was questioned by police in connection with the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash.
“Jain has resigned from the post of advisor to the Delhi chief minister citing personal reasons and family commitment,” one of the sources said to the PTI. The source added that Jain has submitted his resignation letter to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and sent a copy to the lieutenant governor. VK Jain was appointed to the post in September last year, days following he retired as the CEO of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), a board chaired is chaired by Kejriwal. The sources added that Jain had not been coming to the CMO after the incident and had gone on a week-long medical leave. The chief secretary Prakash was allegedly assaulted by AAP MLAs during a meeting at the chief minister Kejriwal’s residence in the evening of February 19.
Last week, the Delhi police told a court during the investigation that Jain revealed that AAP MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan bounded the chief secretary and witnessed them assaulting him at CM’s residence. Jain, on the other hand, had earlier said that he did not see anything as he had gone to the washroom during the time of the incident. Shockingly, the alleged assault happened in the presence of Delhi CM Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia.
The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, asking for time to meet them to resolve the issue of sealing of shops in the state. In the letter to Prime Minister Modi, the Delhi CM emphasized on bringing a Bill in Parliament to remove irregularities in the law that are the causes behind sealing of commercial establishments and cautioned that unemployment produced by the drive might impact law and order situation in the national capital.
“The reason behind sealing is anomalies in the law. It is the responsibility of the Central government to remove these anomalies,” the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said. The chief minister had yesterday threatened that he would go on hunger strike if the sealing drive is not stopped by March 31. “Traders earn their livelihood honestly and pay tax. But, they are suffering due to sealing. There is only one solution now. A Bill has to be brought in Parliament to remove anomalies in the law and save traders from unemployment,” Kejriwal added. “The traders are on the verge of starvation and each shop is means of livelihood for many people. If all of them are rendered unemployed (due to sealing) then it may impact law and order situation,” the chief minister in a letter to PM Modi.
Asking for an appointment with the Prime Minister, the Delhi CM demanded that a Bill must be brought in Parliament rapidly to stop the sealing drive. Coming to the Kejriwal’s letter to Rahul Gandhi, the chief minister sought an appointment with him and said sealing of commercial establishments is driving lakhs of people unemployed. “A solution to this problem should be found by rising above politics. This issue needs to be strongly raised in Parliament and pressure should be exerted on the Centre to bring a Bill over it,” Kejriwal wrote to Rahul Gandhi. The sealing drive was started by the municipal corporations of the national capital on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee in December last year.
A Delhi Police team, including cybercrime and forensics experts, arrived at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Friday morning to gather evidence linked to the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs on Monday night. “Around 60 police personnel reached CM’s residence at Flag Staff Road in New Delhi to search the place without any intimation,” a Delhi government official said.
The Delhi CM Kejriwal was also present at his residence when the police led the search. On Tuesday, the Delhi police had registered an FIR against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and others on the complaint of chief secretary Anshu Prakash. The chief secretary had alleged that AAP MLAs assaulted him during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on Monday night. The Delhi Police visited at the CM’s residence two days following the arrest of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal in the case. The deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (North) Harender Singh confirmed the presence of police team, forensic experts and cyber crime cell at the Kejriwal’s residence. Singh, who was present at the CM’s residence, said that “We are at the scene of the crime”.
“CM house taken over by police. Huge number of police force enters CM house without any intimation. Police Raj kills democracy in Delhi. Police spread all over inside house. If this what they can to do an elected CM, think what they can with poor people!!!,” Delhi government spokesperson Arunoday Prakash tweeted. Arunoday, in his another tweet, described the search an effort to humiliate the Delhi CM Kejriwal. “There is minimum courtesy in democracy. Every citizen has rights under constitution. Is it an attempt to humiliate a CM who is working tirelessly for the poor and the last man of the society,” he said in his another tweet.
In a huge setback to the Arvind Kejriwal and his party, the Election Commission (EC) disqualified 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs today for holding ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President by the poll commission. If President clears the recommendation, then it means that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will diminish to 46 from the existing 66.
The controversy over the “office of profit” took place following a 30-year-old lawyer Prashant Patel filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office, pointing out the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The Congress party had also filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 to seek disqualification of 21 AAP legislators positioned on this application. Later, the proceedings were released against on MLA Jarnail Singh following he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to fight the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017. In March 2015, Arvind Kejriwal had appointed an MLA and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015 to immune the post of parliamentary secretary from the description of office of profit with reviewing effect.
The Kejriwal’s party had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no financial benefit being involved in it. The party’s efforts got a setback when President Pranab Mukherjee declined support to the proposed Amendment in June 2016 and the Delhi High Court set sidewise the order appointing MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. Commenting on the matter, the opposition parties Congress and BJP have demanded the direct resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as CM of Delhi on moral ground. “This must be the first ever recommendation in EC history where a recommendation has been sent without even hearing the main matter on merits,” the AAP said.
The disappointed AAP leader Kumar Vishwas lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party leadership with his sarcasm for not being nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Soon following the AAP announced three names for the January 16 election, the 47-year-old politician addressed reporters and questioned the decision. “I have been punished for speaking the truth,” Vishwas said.
The poet-turned-politician said, “Whatever be the name of those Guptas nominated, congratulations to Kejriwal and them for the loyal work to AAP! They will now sit where Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indira Gandhi and other stalwarts once sat.” “(Arvind) Kejriwal ne mujhe muskurate hue kaha tha, maarunga par shaheed nahi hone dunga. Mera nivedan hai ki shav ke saath chhedchhad na karein, ye yudh ka niyam hota hai (A smiling Kejriwal had said that he will kill me, but will not let be a martyr. My request now is to let the dead body be, it’s a rule of war),” Kumar Vishwas said in Hindi.
“I congratulate Arvind today that I accept my martyrdom. Main jaanta hu aap (Kejriwal) ki icchha ke bina hamaare dal mein kuch hota nahi. Aapse asehmat reh ke wahan jeevit rehna mushkil hai (I know that nothing happens in the party without Kejrwal’s wishes. It’s difficult to survive in the party if one disagrees with you),”he added. The AAP named its three Rajya Sabha nominees today from Delhi including party leader Sanjay Singh, businessman Sushil Gupta and chartered accountant ND Gupta. The elections for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi would be held on January 16. The Kejriwal government had earlier offered tickets to several eminent personalities from outside the party, which also included former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. But he denied the offer.
Following a day Lt Governor Anil Baijal gave back the AAP government’s historic move to home deliver public services, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal confronted him on Wednesday, questioning “who should have the final say”. “LG says digitisation enough. Elected government says digitisation needs to be coupled with doorstep delivery. LG does not agree. So, the question is – in a democracy, in such a situation, who should have final say – LG or elected government??” tweeted Kejriwal with attaching a news report titled ‘Doorstep delivery: Government says Baijal ‘rejected’ plan, L-G says digitize it’.
The LG Baijal’s office said on Tuesday that the LG has only “advised to reconsider the proposal in its present form and suggested alternative model to eliminate corruption and improve public service delivery.” The LG also added that digital delivery of services could be the “most effective” tool to eradicate corruption as it removed from the human interface, minimized delays and discretion. The Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also attacked the LG’s decision on Tuesday, saying that “Huge setback in Delhi government’s efforts to provide good and corruption-free government. LG has taken a decision without knowing field reality”. He added that most of these services were already available in digital, yet there were long queues in offices. Under the scheme, the Delhi government had decided to provide over 40 government services ranging from the grant of water connection to marriage certificates at people’s doorway.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to flag off Botanical Garden (Noida) to Kalkaji (Delhi) metro line on December 25. The Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath will also accompany PM Narendra Modi. The PM Modi and UP CM will inaugurate the first train from Botanical Garden in Noida, which is also the first interchange station in NCR.
Notably, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s name does not include on the list VIP invitees. The upcoming inaugurated stretch of 12.64 kilometers completes in the national capital. This stretch is part of longer 38.23-kilometer extension over an elaborate land area in Delhi. The Urban Development ministry and the concerned state government have 50:50 venture in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The funds for the Noida route were provided by the Uttar Pradesh government, whereas a big percentage of funds were collected from Delhi government for the ahead route.
The DMRC officials avoided any clear response to questions relating to inviting the Delhi chief minister. The doubt hinted that Kejriwal would not be present at the inauguration ceremony. The Delhi government sources affirmed that CM has no clue of the upcoming event. “The priority for our government is safe and reasonable travel for commuters. It is for the Urban Development ministry and UP government to answer why Delhi CM was not sent an invitation,” a top source in the Chief Minister’s Office told India Today. Ahead of the flag-off ceremony, the UP CM Yogi Adityanath arrived in Noida on Saturday afternoon.
This is not the first time when chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been not invited for the inaugural ceremonies of new metro lines. In 2015, Kejriwal did not receive the information for the launch of an extended line between Faridabad-Badarpur. The event was mainly organized by the BJP-ruled Haryana Government.