Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday attacked the Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena over the order of removal of its two ‘government nominees’ from the board of private DISCOMS, and called it “unconstitutional” and “illegal”. AAP slammed the Delhi LG saying that he has made a “complete mockery” of all Supreme Court orders and the Constitution.
“LG’s orders removing Jasmine Shah and Naveen Gupta from the Board of DISCOMs is illegal and unconstitutional. LG does not have the power to issue such orders. Only the elected government has the power to issue orders on the subject of electricity. LG has made a complete mockery of all SC orders and the Constitution. He is openly going around saying that SC orders are not binding on him,” the AAP statement read. Earlier in the day, Delhi LG VK Saxena ordered the immediate removal of AAP spokesperson Jasmine Shah and AAP MP ND Gupta’s son, Naveen ND Gupta from the position of ‘government nominees’ on the Board of Private DISCOMS.
The LG Office informed in a statement that they have been removed for allegedly “illegally” occupying the positions, and they have been replaced by senior government officers. “Delhi LG, VK Saxena had ordered for the immediate removal of AAP Spokesperson, Jasmine Shah, Son of AAP MP, ND Gupta- Navin Gupta and other private individuals, who had been illegally appointed as government Nominees on the boards of privately owned DISCOMs- BYPL, BRPL (Anil Ambani) and NDPDCL (Tata),” the statement from the LG Office read.
As per the release, the two had “collaborated” with private representatives on boards of Anil Ambani-owned DISCOMS and “benefitted” them to the tune of Rs 8000 Cr at the cost of the public exchequer. The Finance Secretary, Power Secretary and MD, of Delhi Transco, will now represent the government on these Ambani and Tata-owned DISCOMS, as per regular practice, followed since Sheila Dikshit’s time as CM, when these DISCOMS came into existence, the release stated.
“Invoking “difference of opinion” under Article 239AA of the Constitution of India, after the Arvind Kejriwal government persisted in their continuance on these boards, despite proven misconduct and maleficence on their part, by way of benefiting the Ambani-owned DISCOMS to the tune of more than 8000 crores, at the cost of government exchequer, Saxena had referred the matter to the President of India for a decision. He had asked for the removal of the above-mentioned political appointees on the DISCOM boards with immediate effect, pending the President’s decision, and asked for senior government officials to replace them on the boards of the DICOMS,” the LG Office statement read. Senior government officials like the Finance Secretary, Power Secretary and representatives of Government-owned GENCOS and TRANSCO, had been the norm till Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government nominated party functionaries as ‘Government Nominees’ on the DISCOM boards.
The statement informed that the Delhi government which owns 49 per cent of the stake in the private DISCOMS used to nominate senior government officials so that the interests of the government and people of Delhi could be taken care of, in decisions taken by the DISCOM boards. “However, these AAP nominees on the DISCOMS, in a quid pro quo arrangement involving commissions and kickbacks, instead of acting vigilant in the interest of the people and government of Delhi, acted in cahoots with the BRPL and BYPL boards facilitated a decision by their boards to decrease the LPSC rates from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, and in the process unduly benefitted them to the tune of Rs 8468 crores- an amount that would have gone to the Delhi Government exchequer.