Ground Report | New Delhi: New LG of Delhi; Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal asked on Saturday if Praful Patel, the administrator of Lakshadweep, will be appointed as the next deputy governor of Delhi.
“Will Mr. Praful Patel, administrator of Lakshadweep, become the next LG of Delhi?” Kejriwal tweeted. Baijal, a UT cadre officer from the 1969 batch, was appointed as the lieutenant governor of Delhi in December 2016.
Patel, who served as Gujarat’s Home Minister when Narendra Modi was the chief minister, took over as Lakshadweep’s administrator in December 2020.
Kejriwal’s tweet about Patel comes amid a major controversy over the postponement of local body elections in the national capital, reportedly at the behest of the central government’s order.
Kejriwal’s party, the AAP, approached the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking its direction to the State Election Commission to conduct MCD elections with EVMs that are compatible with VVPAT.
On March 9, the State Election Commission postponed the announcement of this year’s local elections in Delhi for a week saying it had received an order from the Centre. Kejriwal’s party has made history by winning a landslide majority in Punjab, hoping to wrest power from the BJP in the MCD polls.
Who is Praful Patel?
Praful Khoda Patel, a resident of Gujarat, was the former home minister of the state when Narendra Modi was its chief minister. Patel, considered close to Modi, was made the administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020 following the demise of former administrator and IPS officer Dineshwar Sharma.
Earlier, Patel was appointed as the administrator of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 2016. The appointment of politicians as administrator was a departure from the earlier practice of appointing civil servants only to the Modi-led government.
Praful Patel, a native of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, is the first non-bureaucrat to be appointed administrator of a Muslim-majority union territory. The administrator had been heavily criticized last year for introducing a series of controversial decisions. They included the introduction of the sale of liquor, a ban on the sale and consumption of beef, and the introduction of new regulations to change the landscape of Lakshadweep.
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