Delhi Chief Secretary row: No thaw in ties between government, officers

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New Delhi | February 23, 2018 1:48 AM

The tussle between Delhi government and bureaucracy continued for the third day today as the officials decided to observe a five-minute silence every day in protest against the alleged attack on the top bureaucrat, while the ruling AAP termed the arrest of its MLAs in the case a "deep conspiracy" to malign it.

Delhi Chief Secretary row, Delhi government, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Anshu Prakash, DANICS, AAP government, Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi AssemblyThe Delhi government officers pledged to maintain only written communication with the ministers until Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologises over the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Monday night. (PTI)

The tussle between Delhi government and bureaucracy continued for the third day today as the officials decided to observe a five-minute silence every day in protest against the alleged attack on the top bureaucrat, while the ruling AAP termed the arrest of its MLAs in the case a “deep conspiracy” to malign it. No meeting took place between officers and AAP ministers at the Delhi Secretariat. The Delhi government officers pledged to maintain only written communication with the ministers until Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologises over the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Monday night. Miffed over the decision by the bureaucrats to boycott meetings with Delhi ministers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia issued orders to the heads of his departments to submit the status of pending proposals every week in writing.

Government employees, including IAS and DANICS officers, observed a five-minute silence to express their anguish over the “breach of faith” by the political executive of the Delhi government. The associations of all IAS, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) and Delhi Administration Subordinate Services (DASS) have decided that all government employees will observe a five-minute silence outside their offices on all working days at 1.30 pm during lunch recess. With the officials pledging to observe silence everyday, there does not appear a possibility for an immediate thaw in the strained ties between AAP dispensation and bureaucracy.

“The silence will continue on all working days at 1:30pm in all Delhi government offices, Jal Board, other affiliated offices till the political executive takes tangible steps to ensure safety and dignity of government employees,” Manisha Saxena, secretary of the IAS Association, said. Meanwhile, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party termed the arrest of its two MLA’s a “deep conspiracy” to malign its government.

Addressing a press conference, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged that Kejriwal’s adviser VK Jain was forced in police custody to change his statement in connection with the alleged attack on Prakash at the chief minister’s residence on Monday night. Meanwhile, the BJP, led by the Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, protested outside Kejriwal’s office, demanding the dismissal of the AAP government. “Staged protest to demand dismissal of the AAP government. Burnt effigy of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during the protest,” Gupta tweeted in Hindi.

Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia ordered secretaries of his departments to submit status of pending proposals every week in writing. The move came two days after IAS and DANICS associations announced that officers would only maintain written communication with AAP ministers until Kejriwal apologies for the alleged attack on Prakash.

Citing Rule 17 of Transaction of Business Rules (1993), Sisodia ordered that principal secretaries (education) and secretaries (art, culture & languages) will submit statements to him on proposals and matters and their expected time-line every week. While the AAP has maintained that the charges against its MLAs were a move to malign the party’s image, the police yesterday released the report of the medical examination of the chief secretary, which said he had a “bruise” on his lower lip and “swelling” behind the ears.

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