Naval Aggarwal attending a recent meeting of Punjab Chief Secretary along with four senior IAS officers in Chandigarh.
Chandigarh: AAP’s Delhi leaders appear to be interfering in the functioning of the Punjab government through a team led by IIT graduate Naval Aggarwal, deployed discreetly in Chandigarh, to monitor the official files of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and attend important meetings of the Chief Secretary V.K. Janjua.
Investigations by Indianarrative.com revealed that Aggarwal and his team operate from the spacious Room Number 5 on the 8th floor of the Punjab Civil Secretariat. However, his name is not mentioned in the records of the General Administration Department (GAD) or the Department of Governance Reforms. All offices in the civil secretariat are allotted and furnished by the GAD.
The PBX extension number 4840 in Room Number 5, on the 8th floor is allotted to Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha. There is no direct line to this room. All other Rajya Sabha Members have been allotted direct phone lines to their offices in the civil secretariat.
The photograph (see above) shows Naval Aggarwal sitting on the right side of Sarbjit Singh, Financial Commissioner Development, and opposite KAP Sinha, Financial Commissioner Revenue, Siva Prasad, Financial Commissioner Rural Development and Panchayats and Rajat Aggarwal, Principal Secretary. Chief Secretary V.K. Janjua is presiding over a meeting held recently.
In the second photograph, Naval Aggarwal is seen attending a recent meeting of Chief Secretary VK Janjua with DGP Gaurav Yadav, IG (Intelligence) Jatinder Singh Aulakh, and at least 7 other police and civil service officers.
When this correspondent asked who has been allotted Room Number 5, Kumar Rahul, Additional Chief Secretary GAD replied: “Ask the Department of Governance Reforms…It is with them.”
Parminder Singh, Director of the Department of Governance Reforms had no knowledge of Naval Aggarwal’s position or designation, or duties in the department.
But Chief Secretary V.K. Janjua today replied to a query sent earlier by indianarrative.com on Sunday, December 25th saying, “he is in the Governance Reforms Department.”
However, Mr. Janjua did not answer two other queries on whether Naval Aggarwal is supposed to attend official meetings of the Punjab government and whether he is authorized to monitor all the files of the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary.
Venu Parsad, Principal Secretary to CM refused to comment on the issue.
This reporter called Naval Aggarwal’s office today afternoon and his personal assistant confirmed that it is the office of Aggarwal and that “sahib is available.”
But once he knew a journalist was on the line, he put the call on hold and then disconnected the phone. However, when this correspondent contacted the PA again through the PBX and asked to speak to Aggarwal, his response was: “I was misguided. I do not know who Naval Aggarwal is. He does not sit here.”
The Bhagwant Singh Mann government had to face a major embarrassment earlier as Delhi AAP leader Raghav Chadha was summoning top bureaucrats of the Punjab government for meetings in violation of Constitutional norms. There was a move to appoint Chadha as the chairman of an advisory committee for guiding the Chief Minister in the discharge of his duties. But the file of the proposed committee was not cleared by CM Bhagwant Mann as he came in for heavy criticism for allegedly allowing the party’s Delhi leadership to interfere in the running of the Punjab government.
It now appears that Naval Aggarwal is playing the role of monitoring the Punjab government for the AAP leadership in Delhi.
According to sources, he is the co-founder of a private body, Get Up for Change. He is also steering Punjab Good Governance Fellowship Programme and is in the process of hiring a team of about 50 employees at a promised salary of about Rs 70,000 per month. These recruits will be posted in various municipal corporations and other departments of the Punjab government covering all the districts of the state at the full expense of the state exchequer.