Kejriwal frees Gautam to have him focus on co-ops

Last time Indian Cooperative team visited the office of Delhi Cooperative Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam it found him grappling with obstinate DJB officials. He had apparently little time for the cooperative department. But now that has changed.

Off the back of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also made a change in his cabinet himself taking over the charge of Water Ministry because of the outgoing minister Rajendra Pal Gautam’s dismal performance.

Gautam had taken over the water department barely three months ago. While speaking to media persons Gautam said top officials including DJB CEO did not let him work and kept him in the dark about important matters.

Rajendra Pal Gautam who is now left with the ministry of cooperation alone to look after exudes confidence so far as cooperatives are concerned.

Earlier he talked about his plans to shake up cooperative bodies in the state and hinted at possible action against those in office year after year. Gautam did not name anybody but it was clear that Congress leader and Chairman of Delhi State Cooperative Bank Bijender Singh would be under scrutiny.

The Minister also wants to amend the existing Delhi Co-op Act so that it corresponds with 97th Constitutional Amendment which elevated forming co-operative as fundamental right, among other things. Implementation of 97th CAA would also stop misuse of co-op bodies by the same team again and again”, Gautam underlined.

Last week during a surprise visit, he found a co-operative wholesale shop at Moti Nagar, indulging in various irregularities and ordered action against irregularities and asked for the report from the department.

A source says the minister said corruption in the co-op department cannot be tolerated and officials would be punished. There has been spate of complaints of hoarding, financial irregularities and also the absence of staff. He will have more time now as he is free of vexing water issue, said one of his associates.


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