IAS Officers Claim No One Is On Strike; Delhi HC Asks Who Authorised The Dharna At LG Office
The Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia along with senior ministers Gopal Rai and Satyendar Jain completed a week of protest at Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal’s office. However, the Delhi High Court observed that Arvind Kejriwal and the other ministers did not obtain prior permission to protest. Another thing that the court noticed was that a protest usually takes place in an open area, not in somebody’s office or house.
The protest began on June 11 after the L-G refused to accept the demands set by the AAP, mainly about ending the ‘strike’ of the bureaucrats for the last four months. Meanwhile, Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia have been taken to the hospital. Satyendar Jain was on a hunger strike since June 12, and Manish Sisodia was on hunger strike since June 14. Manish Sisodia’s ketone levels were 7.4 which is way above the normal level and is fatal in some cases.
IAS Officers Say
Yesterday, Delhi IAS officers held a press conference. “I would like to inform that we are not on strike. The information that IAS officers in Delhi are on strike is completely false and baseless. We are attending meetings; all departments are doing their work. We are sometimes also working on holidays,” said Manisha Saxena, IAS Association Delhi, reported The Times of India.
Another IAS officer, Varsha Joshi said that “It is depressing to be demonised for political purposes.”
After IAS officers said they are frightened, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he assures them that they are safe.
My appeal to my officers of Delhi govt …. pic.twitter.com/YQ02WgaAtd
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 17, 2018
CMs denied meeting
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her counterparts from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala who were to attend the Niti Aayog meeting conducted by the Prime Minister in Delhi requested the L-G to allow them to meet the protesting CM. However, Chandrababu Naidu, HD Kumaraswamy, Mamata Banerjee and Pinarayi Vijayan were not allowed to meet Kejriwal.
On Monday, June 11, in an attempt to convince Mr. Baijal to pass an order to end the strife and also to gain approval of delivery of ration scheme, the group led by the Delhi CM reached the L-G office located at Raj Niwas at 5:30 PM. After the L-G refused to meet the demands, all of them decided to stay at his office indefinitely.
The Delhi CM tweeted the demands placed by the AAP and the letter handed over to the L-G. Additionally, he said that even after meeting the L-G several times in person and through letters, he remained a mute spectator. He said, “We were told by officers that they were being issued threats from the L-G House. This means that the L-G does not want to end the strike. We met him again yesterday (Monday) and said we would not leave till the strike ends.”
4 of us met Hon’ble LG-myself, Dy CM, Satender Jain,Gopal Rai. We presented following demands-
1. IAS officers on strike in Del for 4 months. Direct them to return to work
2. Punish those IAS who struck work for last 4 months
3. Approve doorstep delivery of rations
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 11, 2018
The L-G’s office recorded a statement denying all allegations of bureaucrats’ strike. “There is no strike by employees of GNCTD, and in his continued interactions with officers, it has been informed that the atmosphere of mistrust and fear continues and no sincere attempts to resolve the differences have been made so far. Hon’ble LG continued to advise Hon’ble Chief Minister to build the confidence of the employees at all levels and to work out ways of addressing their genuine concerns,” reported News18.
Delhi’s bureaucracy regulation
According to the Constitution of India, the Lieutenant Governor is the administrator of the national capital. Also, the power to take disciplinary action against its bureaucrats ultimately lies with the Union government via the L-G. Hence, unlike other states, Delhi’s bureaucracy can anytime be vocal against the Delhi government. This is also the reason why Kejriwal had to approach the L-G requesting him to stop the strike by the IAS officers.