The government of Delhi has never been such a talked about the matter before AAP came to power. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been making the news since Anna Andolan and the legacy is maintained till date. The government of AAP is more criticized than celebrated. But something is still out of the notice of everyone.
According to some multiple RTI applications, it has been revealed that PMO of India has been taking an extraordinary interest in Delhi administration since AAP came to governance.
On December 22, the office of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, issued a statement that he had “submitted his resignation to the Government of India”. Political circles in the national capital were taken by surprise and speculation peaked about the possible causes for the unexpected decision, as the statement did not mention any reason for his resignation. Curiously, according to senior officials, Jung had not sent his resignation letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) or the President’s Secretariat, institutions to which the LG reports, but to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The next morning, around 11 a.m., Jung walked into the PMO and had an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking with a few reporters after the meeting, Jung said that twice in the past he had offered to resign, but Modi had asked him to continue as LG.
This was a rare, if not the only, instance since February 2015, when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in Delhi, of a senior official representing the Centre publicly confirming the Prime Minister’s association with an issue linked to the administration of Delhi. Until now, only Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP have asserted that Modi and his office had been “interfering” in the national capital’s local administration. In response, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as well as senior Ministers in the Union government, often ridiculed or dismissed the claims, accusing Kejriwal of trying to drag the Prime Minister into local matters.
However, evidence gathered by Frontline through multiple right to information (RTI) applications to the MHA and other institutions and interviews with government officials reveal that the PMO has not only been monitoring the Government of the National Capital Territory (GNCT) of Delhi but also closely following up on matters linked to it since March 2015, barely a month after the new Delhi government was sworn in.