NEW DELHI: In a surprise move, four non-BJP Chief Ministers on Saturday put their weight behind Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who has been camping at Raj Niwas since Monday seeking Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s intervention to end the undeclared strike by IAS officers in Delhi administration.
West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy asked the Centre to “rise above politics” and sort out the problem in Delhi.
While the four CMs wrote to Delhi LG Anil Baijal seeking time to meet Kejriwal, they got no response. Earlier, Banerjee was verbally denied permission to meet the Delhi CM.
“This is a constitutional crisis and should never happen as an elected government and the common people are made to suffer. Work has been disrupted and this is very unfortunate. LG is the appointed leader, if not he then to who will one to go to seek time and talk?” said Banerjee, as she along with other CMs addressed media at Kejriwal’s residence.
The CMs are in Delhi to attend Niti Aayog’s governing council meeting on Sunday. They are expected to take up the matter with PM Narendra Modi in the meeting.
“We will tell the PM to intervene in the matter and solve it. Had the President been here, we would have told him too. This is a democracy and that is how a democracy functions,” Banerjee said.
Kerala CM Vijayan said the problem arose due to the arrogance of the Centre. “The Centre is restricting the federal system which is a threat to the nation. Everyone is with Kejriwal. All the democratic people are with Delhi CM,” he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party will hold a march to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Sunday in support of his sit-in protest at the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
The Narendra Modi government at the Centre is misusing its powers to stop the Delhi government’s functioning, AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta told media persons on Saturday. The objective of the march to the PMO is to request Prime Minister Modi to get the IAS officers to end their “strike” and return to work.
“The people of Delhi will be gathering at Mandi House tomorrow at four in the evening and will be peacefully marching towards the PMO in support of CM Kejriwal’s strike,” Gupta said.
Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai have been camping at Raj Niwas, the official residence and office of L-G Anil Baijal, since Monday evening.
They are demanding that the L-G direct IAS officers in the Delhi government end their “strike”, and approve the government’s scheme for home delivery of rations.
Even after six days, the sit-in protest has failed to elicit any response from the L-G or the Central government.
Gupta said: “On the one hand the whole country is celebrating Eid, and on the other hand Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and leader Satyendra Jain are on hunger strike at the L-G house. The CM and his ministers have been at the L-G’s house for the last six days, but the L-G has not been able to take out a single minute from his schedule to meet the CM, who has been struggling for the rights of people living in Delhi,” Gupta said.
Meanwhile, a lawyer filed a complaint at the Patel Nagar police station against Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues, accusing them of “compelling” L-G Anil Baijal to do “unlawful work” and preventing him from doing “lawful” work.