AAP rejects Home Ministry's shortlist for Chief Secretary

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 01 March 2015, 09:32 PM

Hardening its position, the AAP government on Sunday rejected Union Home Ministry’s panel of three senior IAS officials to pick one of them as the next Chief Secretary, asking the Centre to respect its choice of R S Negi for the the top post and cooperate with it to fulfil people’s aspirations.

In a letter to the Home Ministry, the Delhi government said the Centre should not impose any officer on it and that there would be nothing wrong in appointing Negi, a 1984-batch officer, to the top bureaucratic post.

Sources said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was firm on his stand to have Negi as the next Chief Secretary due to which the panel of three officers recommended by the Home Ministry was turned down.

The AAP government also conveyed to the Home Ministry that it came to power after a historic mandate from people of Delhi and the Centre should extend all possible cooperation to it to realize people’s expectations.

Sources in the Delhi Government said as Negi is currently serving as Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh, why should there be any difficulty for the Centre to assign the same responsibility to him in Delhi.

Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday and requested him to appoint Negi as the Chief Secretary.

The Home Ministry yesterday had rejected Delhi Government’s recommendation, saying Negi was too junior and does not fall in the prescribed pay grade of Rs 80,000 per month for the post.

In a communication, the Home Ministry had also told Delhi Government that appointment of Negi will be unfair to a dozen AGMTU cadre officers who are senior to him and serving in various key positions.

In its letter, the Delhi government rejected the Home Ministry’s argument and requested it to respect its choice.

The Union Home Ministry makes key bureaucratic appointments in Delhi government as the city is a Union Territory.

Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday and requested him to appoint Negi as the Chief Secretary.

Negi had served Delhi government in various positions including as Chief Executive Officer of Delhi Jal Board and is known to be an upright officer having in-depth knowledge about various problems and challenges facing the city.

The Home Ministry had yesterday appointed senior IAS officer SN Sahai as “interim” Chief Secretary of the Delhi government till a regular appointment was made.

Sahai, a 1986-batch Union Territory cadre officer, took charge from D M Spolia, who retired yesterday.

The Home Ministry had sent a panel of three senior IAS officers to the Delhi government to pick up any of them.Negi’s name is not in the list.

The Home Ministry had also conveyed to the city government to send name of any officer who is in the pay scale of Rs 80,000.

The Home Minister is said to be ready to accommodate the request of Kejriwal but service rules came in the way, forcing his Ministry to send the panel of three IAS officers, the sources said.

First Published: Sunday, March 01, 2015 09:29 PM
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