It was an experiment, officials said, that wouldn’t have lasted for long.
They were right as the lingering disorder in the routine work at the secretariat did not throw up any promise. While some officers remained on their toes not sure of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s style of functioning, others dismissed his plans on the sly.
“The only good thing that has happened in the secretariat is that employees have become punctual,” said a DANICS officer.
Kejriwal had started coming as early as 9.30am. Even as senior officials continued to be transferred on a daily basis, young volunteers from AAP handled his office and schedule. Surprisingly, he had not yet initiated the appointment process for most of these volunteers on the 81 co-terminus posts.
“Governance ho kahan rahi thi? Khel ho raha tha (There was no governance. They were just fooling around). They had just started settling down and getting a hang of files and procedures,” said an official who worked at the secretariat even at Sheila Dikshit’s time. Events and schemes that Kejriwal announced were seldom designed in consultation with officials.
“They announced a subsidy for power bills without a financial review,” an officer shared. Many departments like finance and PWD had to wait for long before a review of their ongoing projects.
On the brighter side, however, was the fact that the public got access to the CM’s office like never before. Huge crowds waited outside his office even as his volunteers tried to listen to their grievances. He would often step out and listen to them briefly with a smile before his officials whisked him away. It was particularly tricky for his security officers to keep him in protection as he clearly detested them.
HT asks the following questions to understand the political impact of Kejriwal's decision to quit as Delhi CM.