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  Opinion   Columnists  27 Mar 2024  Dilip Cherian | Kejriwal arrest puts Delhi chief secy in hot seat ahead of summer

Dilip Cherian | Kejriwal arrest puts Delhi chief secy in hot seat ahead of summer

Love them, hate them ignore them at national peril, is the babu guarantee and Dilip’s belief. Share significant babu escapades
Published : Mar 28, 2024, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Mar 28, 2024, 12:10 am IST

Delhi's water woes worsen as Kejriwal's arrest sidelines him, placing Atishi Marlena in charge. Crisis looms amid power struggles.

 AAP's legal cell members protest in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, outside the Patiala House Court in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (PTI Photo)
  AAP's legal cell members protest in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, outside the Patiala House Court in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Although AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has announced that he will continue to function as Delhi’s chief minister from ED custody, babu corridors are buzzing with news of Delhi water minister Atishi Marlena directing chief secretary Naresh Kumar to keep a close eye on the efficient functioning of the city’s water and sewer systems. She’s made it clear that he needs to ensure there are enough water tankers for every part of the city during the hot summer months. It’s clear that Atishi has stepped in to fill the void left by Mr Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.

Now, if you are a Dilliwalla, you know there’s a real showdown between the Delhi government and lieutenant governor V.K. Saxena. Things have got even more interesting with this new order and the incarceration of the chief minister. It’s like the power struggle has hit a new low, with the chief secretary caught in the middle. Usually, the folks at the Delhi Jal Board handle the water tankers. But now, it looks like the chief secretary’s got to keep an eye on them, too. So, if there is any chaos with water in the coming hot months, guess who’s getting the blame?

Mr Kumar, however, is a veteran babu who’s seen through many a strategic move. Observers note that Mr Kumar has played his cards well, something his predecessors like M.M. Kutty and Vijay Kumar Dev could not accomplish. In the hot days ahead with a growing dread of the looming water scarcity, we may have a silly summer potboiler on our hands.


Tactical home secy reshuffles in the states

The recent reshuffling of home secretaries in BJP-ruled states, with exceptions in Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand may have surprised some but the removal of West Bengal’s director general of police Rajeev Kumar by the Election Commission wasn’t entirely unexpected. While inter-party dynamics certainly play a role, intra-party matters are equally significant, particularly in the context of elections, as evidenced by the change in the home secretary of one of the largest electorally significant states.

The swift change in Gujarat’s home secretary raises questions about its underlying message. Indeed, speculation abounds that these decisions carry deeper implications beyond the surface, perhaps even serving as strategic messaging tools. Insiders suggest that more such decisions may be expected, hinting at a broader political strategy at play.

The decision to replace Bengal DGP Rajeev Kumar with Sanjay Mukherjee highlights the chessboard moves of the Centre before the elections. Interestingly, Mr Mukherjee was named only after the poll panel had initially named IPS officer Vivek Sahay as the next DGP, before changing its mind. Further, the Election Commission’s directive to the West Bengal chief secretary to ensure immediate compliance with the new appointment perhaps reveals the Centre’s jitters about the political landscape it faces in this crucial state. The stakes are high, and this poll battle may well prove decisive.


Show cause notice to health babu over IVF controversy

The Punjab government’s move to slap a show cause notice on principal secretary of health Ajoy Sharma regarding the IVF treatment given to the late singer Sidhu Moosewala’s mother shows they’re taking this pretty seriously. Mr Sharma’s got two weeks to explain why the government shouldn’t initiate disciplinary action against him for supposedly not bringing it up with the bigwigs, certainly chief minister Bhagwant Mann and health minister Balbir Singh.

This all kicked off after the slain singer’s father claimed that the Punjab government was giving him a hard time over his new baby boy, born through IVF. 

Since this is now such a big deal, Mr Sharma has been directed to submit a report to the health minister, following the terms laid out in the Business Rules of 1992. Even the Union ministry of health and family welfare has stepped into the picture, seeking a report from the IAS officer.

The birth of the baby, two years after Sidhu’s tragic death, has caused a stir, especially since both parents are above the eligible age for IVF treatment. Yet, even as the nation is busy with the general elections beginning next month, the business of government must continue. The crackdown on the IAS officer is about making sure everyone plays by the rules and there is fairness in the system.

Tags: arvind kejriwal arrest, delhi water problem, atishi marlena