In a move to create greater transparency in the inner workings of the government and to avoid any further allegations from bureaucrats, the Delhi Government has proposed live streaming of the meetings of officers with ministers.
As per the plan, a live feed of meetings with the audio output will be made available on the website.
The Delhi State budget is expected in the month of March, and if the decision is approved, funds would be allocated for the project in the upcoming budget.
“By live streaming the official meetings, people will be able to know who spoke what in the meeting, be it the elected representative or officials. Also, the plan is to put all the file movements and to note online for people to see who is working on a file and for how long, who cleared it and who wrote what on a particular file,” the officer said.
The Delhi government is floating the proposal in a bid to reduce its ongoing tension with officers who have been boycotting the meetings ever since the alleged assault took place.
It is necessary to divulge deeper into the case of assault, to understand the rigidity.
WHAT WAS THE CASE?
The decision was taken after Delhi Chief Secretary, Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted by Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) MLA’s Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan during a meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on February 19.
The Chief Minister’s office denied all the allegations, saying that the incident never took place.
“Delhi CM office strongly denies allegations by the Chief Secretary. There was no incident of assault or attempted assault by any AAP MLA’s,” a statement from Kejriwal’s office said.
However, according to the medical report issued by Aruna Asaf Ali Government Hospital, the physical symptoms detailed in the report were more or less consistent with his claims of having been assaulted at the meeting. The hospital had issued a medical certificate detailing the symptoms that Prakash was showing when brought to the hospital.
As per the report, the Chief Secretary complained of “painful neck movements,” “pain behind both ears” and “pain behind the right eye.”
A TWIST IN THE TALE
Kejriwal’s advisor V K Jain brought fresh troubles for the Delhi government as he contradicted his earlier statement about the alleged attack on Prakash.
After interrogation, Jain claimed that he has seen the two MLAs Jarwal and Khan assaulting Prakash. Previously, he claimed to have not seen anything as he has gone to the washroom at the time of alleged incident.
“He has given us four names. The police custody of both the MLAs is required to unearth the whole conspiracy,” the prosecutor said moving a fresh plea for their custody.
Further Jain disclosed, “MLAs randomly started questioning the chief secretary about the delay in the release of funds for the AAP government’s media publicity regarding its achievement in education and fighting corruption.
After that, Delhi Police registered an FIR based on Prakash’s complaint and arrested both the MLAs.
IN A COUNTER ATTACK-
Aam Aadmi Party accused the Delhi Police of acting at the behest of the centre by working against Chief Minister and the party MLAs.
AAP leader, Ashutosh claimed that despite having no evidence against Prakash Jawal and Amanatualah Khan, the police took immediate action against them.
In a counter case, AAP sent a delegation along with the ‘video evidence’ of the February 20 ‘assaults’ to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to demand Justice for its minister Imram Hussain and Delhi Dialogue Commission’s Vice Chairman Ashish Khetan who was allegedly assaulted.
“The AAP MLAs were arrested though he (Prakash) produced no evidence. What about the life-threatening attacks on Delhi minister Imran Hussain and DDA vice-chairman Ashish Khetan, who enjoys the rank of cabinet minister,” said Ashutosh.
GOVERNMENT OFFICERS ON STRIKE-
Since the alleged attack, the officers have boycotted attending the meetings of the Chief Minister with the Cabinet colleagues demanding that Kejriwal apologise for the incident.
Despite, Aam Aadmi Party’s urge to government officers not to obstruct work, the political slugfest has not come to a halt.
“We appeal to the officers not to obstruct work as governance gets hit because of this,” said Saurabh Bharadwaj, Chief Spokesperson of AAP Delhi’s unit.
Amid the standoff with the bureaucracy, the Delhi government proposed mulling live streaming all meetings of its ministers.
Despite the new proposal
The case has led to a political slugfest with all the government employees demanding “action as per law,” despite the motion of live streaming of all meetings of its ministers.
The officers, including, IAS and DANICS, said, “We will continue to communicate with ministers only in writing until Kejriwal and Sisodia give a public apology over the alleged incident at the chief minister’s residence on the intervening night of February 19 and 20.”
With no end to the political tension, Social Welfare Minister Gautam told reporters, “Trust is not the work of political executive only. Government is taking an initiative to end this problem, and now the (agitating) officers should come forward in a bid to build trust and have a dialogue so that government does not get affected.”
ACCORDING TO THE EMPLOYEES
The employees’ forum appealed to Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to take action against Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia in the case.
Its resolution claimed that instead of apologizing and admitting their mistake, the chief minister and the deputy chief minister are in a “denial mode” which shows that they were a “part of the conspiracy.”
“This shows that they were a part of the conspiracy and since they are specifically identified in the FIR, we appeal to LG and the Commissioner of Police to take action as per law against CM & Deputy CM,” the resolution said.
“The Joint Forum resolves that all Delhi Government employees will continue to work through formal written means of communication. The Joint Forum of Delhi Government Employees demands that the prerequisite to any dialogue with the political executive is a specific written and public apology from Hon’ble Chief Minister & Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister regarding the criminal act of physical assault on the Chief Secretary,” the resolution added.