NEW DELHI: After eight days of sit-in inside the waiting room of Lieutenant Governor’s office, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Labour Minister Gopal Rai finally called off their protest and left the Raj Niwas on Tuesday evening.
The decision to end the unprecedented deadlock came after L-G Anil Baijal asked him to urgently meet the IAS officers at the Delhi Secretariat to resolve their differences.
According to the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia—who, too, was on sit-in but had to be hospitalised as his health deteriorated after he went on an indefinite fast—all IAS officers, including the Chief Secretary, had started attending meetings and had come back to work.
Just after his announcement, Kejriwal came out and said, “We have nothing against IAS officers; 99% of them are good people. We have worked with them to improve governance in Delhi. They were just a front for interference by Central government and Lieutenant Governor.”
He added that the “struggle will continue” until Delhi is granted full statehood.
Kejriwal, Sisodia, Rai and Health Minister Satyendar Jain had started the sit-in at the L-G office on June 11 over their demands, asking the L-G to direct the IAS officers to end their four-month “strike”.
The bureaucrats have been at loggerheads with the AAP government since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February.
Opposition leaders backed Kejriwal, who accused Baijal of acting at the Centre’s behest.
On Tuesday morning, the CM once again wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi saying “nobody in the world will accept” that the L-G has refused to meet him on his own.
“Everyone is saying this is happening at your behest,” he wrote.