Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
could face “criminal charges” over irregularities found by the Shunglu committee in the decisions taken by the Aam Aadmi Party
(AAP) government, former lieutenant governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung
said on Wednesday.
In an interview to Karan Thapar
on television news channel India Today, the first after he quit as the Delhi L-G on December 22, Jung said some of the decisions taken by the Delhi chief minister, his Cabinet and his ministers involved “cheating”, “favouritism”, “nepotism” and were “irregular”. He said the Shunglu committee report was a public document, and his successor Anil Baijal was unlikely to have a problem in it being made available if someone filed a Right to Information application.
Jung also claimed that Kejriwal had set up a “secret unit” like a “counter IB (Intelligence Bureau)” for suspected spying. He said a Cabinet note in March-April 2015 “suddenly surfaced” of the Kejriwal government trying to set up a feedback unit by recruiting approximately 250 people and giving them surveillance equipment, telephones and computers to check corruption.
According to Jung, that unit was to report only to the chief minister. “When it came to our notice, we were alarmed. We sought details,” the former L-G said, adding that the unit hadn’t filed a single report but its personnel were being paid.
Jung said he suspected the reports were being filed directly to the chief minister. He said the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) has filed a First Information Report (FIR) as the issue was a violation of privacy. Jung said no state government or CM has the power to set up a counter unit like this to carry out surveillance over citizens. “It is a very serious matter.”
The former L-G of Delhi also detailed four other cases of “irregularities” in decision-making by the Kejriwal government. Jung, however, maintained that he quit 18 months before the end of his tenure for personal reasons and not because he was asked to by the Narendra Modi government.
Jung attributed his friction with the Delhi CM to Kejriwal's “exuberance of age”, “inexperience” and also arrogance of having won with an overwhelming majority. He said Kejriwal thought he could do as he pleased and the L-G’s office “tried to curb (his) tendencies to play with the Constitution”.
He said the onus for the acrimony was entirely on Kejriwal. “We didn’t do anything to initiate anything to antagonise the government, it was by them.” The former L-G said Kejriwal was a young man in a hurry and with time, his enthusiasm would get tempered. Like most politicians, Kejriwal’s public persona was different from his behaviour in private.
To the criticism that he didn’t allow an elected government to function, Jung said that was the brief of the Constitution in the case of Delhi and his job was to defend the Constitution. The three-member Shunglu committee had looked into 464 files of the Delhi government