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Delhi Govt Alleges Chief Secretary Returned Files on Arvind Kejriwal's Budget Speech

The tussle between the AAP Delhi government and the bureaucrats continues unabated since the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by some ruling party MLAs at Arvind Kejriwal's residence.


Updated:March 11, 2018, 11:53 PM IST
Delhi Govt Alleges Chief Secretary Returned Files on Arvind Kejriwal's Budget Speech
File photo of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

New Delhi: Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Sunday refused to accept files related to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's budget speech, the Delhi government has alleged, a charge denied by an officers' body which also termed the allegation as a "harassment" of the top bureaucrat.

A senior official of the Joint Forum of officers, who did not wish to be named, said there was no official communication from the chief minister's office regarding the files to be sent to the Chief Secretary on Sunday.

The tussle between the AAP dispensation and the bureaucrats continues unabated since the alleged attack on Prakash by some ruling party MLAs at Kejriwal's residence.

In a statement, the government said, "It is extremely shocking that barely a few days ahead of the Delhi budget, the chief secretary on Sunday refused to accept important files containing comments of the chief minister in preparation of the annual budget speech."

It claimed the files were related to fixing accountability in setting up of mohalla and polyclinics, the key health initiatives of the Delhi government.

"This year the Delhi government will introduce an innovative concept in budget making. For most of the big projects, specific milestones and timelines will be presented before the Assembly to make the Delhi government more accountable to the Legislative Assembly," the statement stated.

It stated that in case of mohalla clinics, the chief minister desired that such specific timelines including construction to operationalisation - recruitment of doctors and the date of starting the clinic -- be clearly mentioned in the file, and that the chief secretary should personally ensure this be implemented.

"However, in the morning when the files were sent, it was informed by the chief secretary's residence that today being Sunday, these files be sent during office hours on Monday in the Chief Secretary's office," statement stated.

Reacting to the government's claims, an official of the Joint Forum of Delhi government employees said that at the time of delivery of the files, the CS was not present at home Sunday being a holiday.

"There was no official communication from the CM's office that the files would be sent to the CS's residence on Sunday. Being Sunday a holiday, the CS was not present.

"Besides, the chief secretary has directed his staff at residence not to accept any package in his absence as it may lead to unfortunate incident. The government's allegation amounts to harassment of the chief secretary," the official of the forum claimed.

According to the government statement, despite clear instructions from the health minister, when the files were earlier sent to the chief minister they did not contain any specific deadlines and Kejriwal wanted the CS to mention how specific deadlines will be adhered to.

"The Chief Minister desired that the information sought about specific timelines was sought from the Chief Secretary and should be provided by him. The CM expressed his displeasure at the sketchy information provided in the files on such important projects," the statement added.

The forum official, however, said every project has milestone and timelines before their execution, adding that these can be ascertained by department's concerned secretary and not by the chief secretary.

The government statement added, "The second file contained only a tentative timeline of 12 months for the operationalisation of 47 polyclinics in the first phase and another 47 in the second phase."

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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