In a major setback for the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena today removed two nominees backed by it from the board of private power distribution companies. The Department of Power removed AAP spokesperson Jasmine Shah, and Naveen ND Gupta, son of AAP MP ND Gupta, saying they had been illegally appointed as ‘government nominees’ on the boards of privately owner discoms BYPL, BRPL (Anil Ambani), and NDPDCL (Tata). AAP nominees have been replaced by senior government officers.
AAP has called the order “unconstitutional and illegal”, adding that only the elected government has the power to issue orders on electricity. The Lieutenant Governor has made a mockery of the Constitution, the party said.
VK Saxena has sought their removal based on a report by the Chief Secretary that alleged the AAP nominees provided financial benefits to private discoms at the cost of the state exchequer.
AAP had earlier rubbished the allegations, saying regular audits of discoms were done as per cabinet decisions.
“They had collaborated with private representatives on boards of Anil Ambani owned discoms and benefitted them to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore at the cost of public exchequer,” the LG’s order said.
“Finance Secretary, Power Secretary and MD, 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 Chief Minister, when these discoms came into existence,” it added.