NEW DELHI: The IAS officers in the Delhi government on Tuesday rejected allegations by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers that they were on strike, an issue that is central to the latest tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party government and Lt-Governor Anil Baijal. Meanwhile, Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues continued their dharna at the L-G's office, where they are camped since Monday evening, even as Health Minister Satyendar Jain began an indefinite hunger strike to press for their demands.
Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, Development Minister Gopal Rai and Jain had met Baijal on Monday evening and then spent the night in the anteroom of the L-G's office. They are demanding that the L-G direct the IAS officers to end their "strike" and take action against those who have struck work for "four months".
They have also asked the L-G to approve a proposal for doorstep delivery of rations. According to the AAP government, the IAS officers have not been attending meetings with ministers or taking their calls.
However, the IAS officers association on Tuesday said that no officer was on strike and no work had been affected. The bureaucrats created the hashtag "#Delhiatwork NoToStrike" on Twitter to list the work done by them in the recent past.
Our 2nd nite at LG House. We r here becoz— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 12, 2018
We luv Del n we care for Del
We hv worked v hard for Del
We want Del to further improve
We feel shattered becoz many
great initiatives getting stuck
Lets improve our beloved Del, LG Sir. N lets do it togethr
In a video message released on Tuesday, Kejriwal said: "Yesterday, on Monday, we again and again told him that we will go from here (L-G's office) only after getting our demands fulfilled," Kejriwal said. "We are not sitting here for ourselves. We are sitting here for you (Delhiites) and for schools, water, mohalla clinics, so that the people of Delhi can get facilities."
There was no reaction from the L-G's office on the matter on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, BJP and Congress leaders in Delhi hit out at the senior leadership of AAP for staging a protest at the L-G's office, saying that it was a tactic to divert attention from the party's administrative failures in Delhi.
"When the Congress government in the past worked in the same constitutional set-up in Delhi, why the drama now by Arvind Kejriwal? This is just a diversion tactic to hide the complete breakdown of government functioning in Delhi. Kejriwal's party does not have any ideology and that was the reason it said that if more power was given to the Delhi government, then it was ready to do election campaign for the BJP" said Delhi Congress Pradesh Committee leader Ajay Maken.
The BJP, which has three MLAs in the Delhi Assembly, said that Kejriwal and other senior leaders were "hiding" in the L-G's office as they did not want to face the people, who were facing tremendous problems due to scarcity of water and electricity in the national capital.
"The leadership of Delhi government is an inexperienced one. They just blame the Centre for every issue. Arvind Kejriwal and others who are in the L-G's office are trying to hide from the people of Delhi because they know nothing has been done on the ground," said Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari.