Chandigarh: The tug-of-war with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for days over the control of CID on Wednesday night took an unexpected turn, with Home Minister Anil Vij being divested the charge of the crucial department, which will now be handled by the CM.
Vij, a sixth-term BJP MLA, will cease to hold the CID, a Haryana government statement said here late night.
“Governor of Haryana, on the advice of the chief minister, has allocated some new portfolios to the chief minister and to two ministers. As per a notification issued by the chief secretary, the portfolios of the Criminal Investigation Department, and the departments of Personnel and Training and of Raj Bhawan Affairs have been allocated to the chief minister, Manohar Lal, in addition to his existing portfolios, with immediate effect,” the statement said.
Apart from this, the portfolio of Elections has been allocated to Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma while the portfolio of Art and Cultural Affairs, hitherto allocated to Sharma, has been allocated to Education Minister Kanwar Pal, in addition to their existing portfolios.
“Thus, the home minister, Anil Vij, will cease to hold the portfolio of Criminal Investigation Department and the transport minister, Mool Chand Sharma, will cease to hold the portfolio of Art and Cultural Affairs,” the statement said.
Vij earlier in the day said there were no differences between them and the CM was his “best friend”. Vij, who had expressed unhappiness over not being briefed or given feedback by the CID, appeared satisfied and said, “Today was the first time that an SP-rank officer briefed me. Now he will be briefing me daily.”
His comments came after the Bharatiya Janata Party said the differences between Khattar and Vij over the CID’s control have been resolved.
“The issue has been resolved. The chief minister is the head of the government and he can keep whatever (departments) he wants to have,” BJP general secretary Anil Jain told PTI.
The Haryana home minister in an informal chat with the media Wednesday evening said, “The chief minister is my best friend. I never had any differences with him. I had some issues with the (CID) department but that too have been resolved.”
However, Vij said, there was no going back on the demand of disciplinary action against the state chief of the agency.
The minister has demanded that state CID chief Anil Rao, who is an ADGP-rank officer, be replaced with Shrikant Jadhav, another senior IPS officer, after charging the former with “disobedience and negligent behaviour in official duty”.
Vij also refuted media reports that he had aired grievances pertaining to the CID issue with he newly appointed BJP president J P Nadda when he went to congratulate him in Delhi.
“There was no talk on this issue. I had gone to congratulate him,” said Vij.
Rising tensions between the minister and the state CID chief had triggered a tug-of-war between Vij and the chief minister over the control of the department.
Khattar recently said the CID remained under the chief minister’s control during the terms of Bansi Lal and Devi Lal, an assertion that appeared to counter the home minister’s claim over the department.
Khattar, however, sought to downplay the row.
Vij had taken exception to two state government websites showing the CID was held by Khattar.
“Governments are not run by websites. They are run by the rule of law,” Vij had said.