CM summons Kutty over absence at Vijay Ghat event

October 03, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 03:45 am IST - New Delhi

Kejriwal asks Chief Secretary to explain his no-show at the event

Chief Secretary M.M Kutty on Monday drew the ire of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not turning up for the birth anniversary celebrations of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Vijay Ghat here.

The event, which saw President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance, was organised by the Delhi government’s Art, Culture and Language Department. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were also part of the event.

A source claimed Mr. Kutty was then summoned to the Chief Minister’s residence, where he was asked to officially explain his absence by Mr. Kejriwal. The Chief Minister, however, did not give a deadline by which time the Chief Secretary should respond. Mr. Kutty could not be contacted for a comment.

‘Expected to be a given’

According to sources close to Mr. Kejriwal, the Chief Secretary’s presence, in addition to that of other representatives of the Capital’s bureaucracy who also gave it a miss, was expected to be “a given since the Delhi government was hosting the event” and because they had been given “directions to this effect”.

The development was confirmed by media adviser to the Chief Minister, Nagendar Sharma, in a tweet: “Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal summons Chief Secy for being absent from Vijay Ghat programme attended by Hon’ble President and Prime Minister.” .

“The Chief Minister is unhappy over the casual attitude which has been exhibited by some members of the bureaucracy in their approach on several occasions. How can a senior government representative absent himself or herself from such an important function is what the Chief Minister has demanded to know,” the source said.

‘Could not contact him’

According to the source, what further irked Mr. Kejriwal was Mr. Kutty’s “decision to remain incommunicado” after “absenting himself”. “There were several attempts made to contact the Chief Secretary over the phone and through text messages but there was no response from his side,” the source claimed.

According to another source, however, the Chief Minister was miffed when he found “no welcoming party” deputed to escort him since he reached the venue “earlier than he was scheduled to”.

“The Chief Minister was scheduled to reach the venue around 7:30 a.m. but reached at 7 a.m. An entire team of Delhi government officials was at the venue and making the last-minute arrangements when Mr. Kejriwal arrived. They went and made themselves available to him as soon as word of his arrival went around,” the source said. The source added that there was no word from the Chief Minister’s office informing the team of his early arrival.

The Chief Minister is unhappy over the casual attitude which has been exhibited by some members of the bureaucracy in their approach on several occasions

Source close to CM

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