NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry has cancelled nine posts of advisors held by AAP members in the Delhi cabinet, sparking a fresh face-off between the Centre and the ruling party in the capital.
The General Administration Department (GAD) of the Delhi government, citing a Home Ministry letter dated April 10, said on Tuesday that the appointment of advisors and consultants in various ministries stands cancelled.
These include Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Atishi Marlena, Raghav Chaddha and Arunoday Prakash -- all advisers to Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia.
The government has also cancelled the posts held by Amar Deep Tiwari as media adviser to Law Minister, Prashant Saxena and Samir Malhotra as consultants to Power Minister, Rajat Tiwari as aide-de-camp in office of Minister of Power, Ram Kumar Jha as adviser (logistics) in the office of Minister, GAD and Dinkar Adeeb as OSD to Home Minister.
"The appointees officiating are not in the list of posts approved for the ministers and Chief Minister of Delhi. No prior approval of the Central government has been taken for creation of said posts on which these person have been appointed," the GAD said.
"Therefore, creation of posts by Delhi cabinet for accommodating these appointees is void ab-initio, being done by an agency not competent under the law to do so. Since creation of these posts and subsequent appointments on these posts are not valid, all previous orders regarding creation of these posts and appointments made against them are hereby cancelled."
The cancellation sparked an angry reaction from the AAP that dubbed this move by the Centre as a "diversionary tactic" of the BJP to divert attention from recent incidents of rapes and cash crunch in the country.
"Impressive diversionary tactic by the MHA (Home Ministry), at the behest of the BJP. To divert attention from spate of rapes, cash crunch etc. An opportune time to rake up non-issues with AAP like retrospective sacking for a post I held for 45 days in 2016 for a paltry sum of Rs 2.50," tweeted Chaddha, who is also an AAP spokesperson.