New Delhi: Sparking a new controversy between the bureaucracy and the Delhi government, Shakuntala Gamlin, the national capital's principal secretary for power and industries, has alleged that Industries Minister Satyendar Jain was mounting pressure on her over conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold.
In a letter written to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung which came to light on Sunday, Gamlin said: "The industries minister had been continuously pressing me to submit a note for the council of ministers proposing therein conversion of industrial plots in the city from leasehold to freehold."
"Full facts pertaining to the legal ramifications of the case that the matter was not within the competence of Delhi government had been brought to his notice," she wrote.
Jain rejected the charge and told reporters: "I fail to understand that if we ask our officers to do some work, is it same as pressurising them?"
Jain also raised questions over leaking the letter to the media.
"The letter that you are talking about, Shakuntala Gamlin should have addressed that letter to me instead of the LG and what was the need to leak that letter in the media?" Jain asked.
Earlier, Gamlin's appointment as acting chief secretary had triggered a row between the lt. governor and the Arvind Kejriwal government.
This tussle for the power to appoint and transfer officials is now under consideration of the court.
Kejriwal had accused Gamlin of lobbying for power distribution companies in the national capital.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party government over the allegations by Gamlim.
"After today's exposure of the Delhi government's minister Satyendar Jain's efforts to get land use rules for plots changed, it becomes absolutely clear why Kejriwal's government was deadly opposed to the appointment of Shakuntla Gamlin as acting chief secretary as she had earlier objected to the government's illegal acts," said Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay.
"Now we understand Chief Minister Kejriwal's averseness to all existing officials as they are not ready to support his unconstitutional misdeeds," he said.
Upadhyay also urged Jung to order an inquiry into the matter.