Delhi Lt Governor Locks Up Top Official’s Office Amid Row With AAP

The order was issued by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena

New Delhi:

In a fresh stand-off between the Aam Aadmi Party and Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the office of the vice chairperson of Delhi government’s think thank has been locked up over alleged misuse of public office for political gains.

Jasmine Shah, the vice chairperson of Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi, has been restricted from using his Shamnath Marg office in the national capital.

All other “facilities and privileges” that Jasmine Shah enjoyed, including his official vehicle and staff, stand withdrawn with immediate effect, as per the late last evening order.

Sources say Mr Saxena has also asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to remove Jasmine Shah from the post of vice chairman of DDCD. The post is equivalent to the rank of a Delhi government minister.

The order comes a month after Mr Shah was issued a show cause notice by the Lieutenant Governor following a complaint filed by BJP MP Parvesh Verma alleging misuse of public office.

In his complaint, Parvesh Verma alleged that “while working as vice-chairperson of DDCD, Jasmine Shah has acted as the official spokesperson of AAP for political gains, which is in violation of established procedures.” It also said that Mr Shah had violated the “principle of neutrality”.

Mr Shah, in his response to the notice, had said that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has no jurisdiction over the office of the DDCD vice chairperson, which is a minister-rank position appointed by the cabinet.

Mr Kejriwal, who has been in the line of fire of the Lieutenant Governor of later, had also said that Jasmine Shah was appointed by the cabinet and Mr Saxena can not interfere in it. He called the think tank the backbone of Delhi’s development.

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