A thorn in Kejriwal’s side: The controversies of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar

He’s scheduled to retire, though Delhi may not have seen the last of him yet.

WrittenBy:Pratyush Deep
Date:
Illustration of Naresh Kumar against a bright pink background.
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Between the AAP government and the BJP-led central government, Delhi’s fabled corridors of power are so overpopulated so as to trip you up.

But over the past few weeks, one such keeper of power has dominated headlines, his name whispered within administrative circles.

That man is Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar. Events of the past week perfectly encapsulate his fraught relationship with the AAP government in Delhi.

On November 22, the Delhi High Court told The Wire to take down its story on Kumar’s son being purportedly linked to a land overvaluation case in Bamnoli village. Kumar had sued The Wire for defamation even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recommended his suspension.

Also by November 22, Delhi’s Vigilance Minister Atishi had filed three consecutive reports seeking his suspension.

But Delhi Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena, well-known for being a thorn in the Delhi government’s side, has already refused to consider Atishi’s report on Kumar’s “complicity” in the Bamnoli land deal. 

Crucially, Kumar is scheduled to retire on November 30. Bureaucrats and officials told Newslaundry that Saxena and Kumar are “close”,so it’s allegedly likely that the chief secretary’s term will be extended beyond November 30.

Kumar refused to speak to Newslaundry for this story. He also blocked this reporter’s number on WhatsApp.

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