Run-ins with top official cost Kapil Mishra law ministry

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) AAP minister Kapil Mishra lost the law ministry to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia because of his inability to handle the seniormost bureaucrat in the department, Delhi government sources have told IANS.

In his brief two-and-a-half month stint as the minister of law, justice and legislative affairs, Mishra had repeated run-ins with Principal Secretary R. Kiran Nath who was apparently reprimanded for marking files directly to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

Kiran Nath had responded that the lieutenant governor was the constitutional head of the state government and not the one led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A judicial service officer, she was deputed to the post by the Delhi High Court.

“She was creating problems in day-to-day functioning. Mishra was inexperienced (in dealing with her) and that’s why he lost his job (as law minister),” a government official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“The chief minister (Arvind Kejriwal) decided to give the department to Manish (Sisodia), who is more mature,” the official added.

Sisodia is the third law minister in the nearly seven-month-old Aam Aadmi Party government that swept to power in February, winning 67 of the 70 seats in the assembly elections. Mishra had succeed Jitender Singh Tomar, who resigned in June following his arrest for lying about his law degree.

Mishra, however, remains the water and tourism minister.

A source in the law department said Mishra was miffed at Kiran Nath’s working style. “She was sent notices four times as she did not agree with Mishra on many issues.”

The long-drawn battle between Mishra and Kiran Nath was over the “definition of the state government”.

“Mishra had asked her to provide the definition of state government as she was marking files directly to Jung. Kiran Nath said that Jung was the government in Delhi,” the source said.

Jung and the AAP government are locked in battle over the control over Delhi. While Jung has asserted that he is the government in Delhi, the chief minister has contested this.

“She is trying to sabotage the government. We know at whose behest she is working at,” said an official sympathetic to the AAP government.

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