Following ministers Satyendra Jain, Manish Sisodia and Rajendra Pal Gautam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turned their guns on another AAP cabinet member, Jasmine Shah, for alleged “misuse of public office”.
Following a complaint from BJP MP Parvesh Singh Verma, the Planning Department of the Delhi Government issued a demonstration notice to the Deputy Chairman of the Delhi Development and Dialogue Commission (DDDC), to respond to the notice within seven days. In his complaint, filed in September, Verma said that Shah, while working as DDDC vice president, “acted as the official mouthpiece of the Aam Aadmi Party for political gain, which violates established procedures.”
The notice said that Shah was covered by the definition of “public servant.” He added that it had been observed from video transcripts of him appearing in news discussions that Shah was using his office for political activities, which was “tantamount to a misuse of public resources.” He also said that Shah had violated the “principle of neutrality”.
Shah is seen as the AAP’s “non-politically political” man, who joined the party in 2014 and has been working on projects, especially policy and issue formulation since 2016. During 2016 to 2018, he worked as an adviser in the department and is also the brains behind Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ambitious ‘Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy’.
He was appointed DDDC Vice President in 2018. The DDDC VC position is equivalent to the rank of a Delhi Government Minister and the terms of reference for the appointment are to advise the government on governance and technology solutions and to evolve. strategies for the recommendations made by the agency. He has been working on urban policy and governance issues and has been advising the Delhi NCT Government since 2016 on environmental, transport, education and budget transparency reforms.
Shah is also the architect of Delhi’s first Comprehensive Result Budget for 2017-18, a first-of-its-kind initiative in India to bring full transparency and accountability to public spending.
The AAP government’s ambitious rozgaar budget for 2022-23, under which it aims to provide Rs 20 lakhs of jobs, was prepared under Shah’s supervision. He has also pushed to increase the number of staff at the DDDC.
He has also worked on several crucial transport reforms of the Delhi government such as Electric Vehicle Policy, Common Mobility Card, rationalization of bus routes, last mile connectivity initiative, large-scale introduction of electric buses , among other projects.
Prior to joining AAP, Shah also worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), where he was deputy director of its South Asia office, and prior to that at the Janaagraha Center for Citizenship. and Democracy.
You have completed B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras and an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York, where he was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar.
In response to the display notice, Shah said that the notice had been issued at the request of LG and Verma: “I have seen the notice issued by the planning department, at the request of LG and BJP MP Verma. The LG has no jurisdiction over the office of DDDC Vice President, which is a ministerial-ranking position appointed by the Delhi Cabinet.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Delhi, at an inaugural charging infrastructure event where Shah was accompanying him, said: “It is wrong… It has been appointed by the Delhi Cabinet and can only be challenged by the Cabinet.”