Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says no scope for appointing non-official persons to DMRC board

Hardeep Singh Puri. File photo.

Hardeep Singh Puri. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

AAP’s nomination of non-bureaucrats could face roadblock

The Delhi government’s proposed nomination of non-bureaucrats, including Aam Aadmi Party leaders Raghav Chadha and Atishi Marlena, to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s Board of Directors could face a roadblock, as Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said there was “no scope for non-official people” on the Board.

Asked about the AAP government’s nomination of non-government officials, Mr. Puri said: “I have a situation where the Board is handled with great competence by the serving secretary in the Ministry. There is no scope in that Board for non-official people. So my answer, you have got.”

Further, asked if the Delhi government insisted on going ahead with its nominees, Mr. Puri said: “Who are they to insist? It’s a joint venture. You see what is happening elsewhere. I hold one or two other portfolios. If the people don’t agree, then they have problems amongst themselves.”

Mr. Puri said he would not be “party” to the appointment of directors who would not be as accountable as government officials.

On July 13, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had named Ms. Marlena, Mr. Chadha, the vice-chairperson of the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission, Jasmine Shah, and Naveen Gupta, the son of Rajya Sabha MP and AAP treasurer N.D. Gupta, as the State government’s nominees to the Board.

On July 16, the MoHUA wrote to the Delhi Chief Secretary asking for the nomination of private individuals, for the first time, as government nominees to be withdrawn.

Owned in equal parts by the Centre and Delhi government, the DMRC’s Board has five nominees each from both. Currently, the Delhi government’s nominees include officers.

According to a Ministry official, the nomination of directors would have to be processed by the Centre.

Draws comparison

Meanwhile, making a comparison between late former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and current Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Mr. Puri said when Dikshit had objected to the appointment of BJP MP Madan Lal Khurana as DMRC chief in 2003, he resigned.

On the other hand, he said, the AAP government had nominated “two people who have lost their elections”, referring to Ms. Marlena and Mr. Chadha, who contested the recently-held Lok Sabha polls.

Responding to the attack, Mr. Chadha said in a tweet: “By the extension of that logic since the Hon’ble Minister@HardeepSPuriachieved the unachievable feat of losing the Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar on a BJP ticket despite Modi Tsunami and BJP winning 300+ seats, he must put in his papers immediately. (sic).”

Former Union Minister and Congress leader Ajay Maken also said in a tweet: “@HardeepPuriji should check his facts. Khurana Ji resigned both from Lok Sabha and as Chairman of DMRC on 24th Dec 2003-Because he was being made the Governor of Rajasthan. Sheila Ji had best of working relationships with opposition leaders!(sic).”

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:29:04 AM |

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