Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks to journalists after the Delhi Police visited his residence on Friday.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks to journalists after the Delhi Police visited his residence on Friday.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Delhi chief secy vs AAP: L-G Baijal will talk to officers, says Sisodia

Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash has alleged that he was assaulted by AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, causing a bureaucratic row in the Delhi government.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2018 11:26 PM IST

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, locked in a bitter battle with its own bureaucracy, said on Friday that it will ensure that no such incident happens in future that could lead to an administrative crisis in Delhi as is prevailing now. This was hours after Delhi Police searched chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence to probe the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs.

A team of 55 police personnel entered Kejriwal’s Flagstaff Road residence at 11.15 am and took away hard disks containing recordings of 21 CCTV cameras after a search of more than two hours. While the police found that the camera recordings were over 40 minutes behind the actual time, the AAP reacted sharply and called the search a violation of law as there was no prior intimation.

Soon after the search began, Kejriwal broke his three-day silence over the fiasco surrounding the Delhi government’s top bureaucrat by saying that an investigation should happen in the case. “I am concerned that governance in Delhi is suffering. Our only fault is that we do not know how to do politics. That is why BJP and Congress are always after us,” the chief minister said.

Later in the day, Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers met lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to discuss the administrative situation of the government as all bureaucrats boycotted meetings and continued to maintain only written communication with the ministers.

After the meeting with Baijal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the L-G assured the Delhi cabinet that he will speak to bureaucrats to ensure that the work of the government is not affected. “The chief minister and the cabinet will do whatever needs to be done to prevent such incidents. If a dialogue is needed to ease the situation, then that would also be done,” Sisodia said.

“Strongly” condemning the incident pertaining to Prakash and calling it “most unfortunate”, Baijal said no government can fulfil its promises to the people if the employees feel demoralised and insecure. “There is no place for violence in a democratic and civilized society. He observed that steps need to be taken to remove mistrust between the government employees and the elected govt so that development of Delhi and public interest do not get adversely affected,” he said in a statement issued by his office.

However, not everyone in the AAP felt the same way as the party leadership did. AAP MLA from Uttam Nagar Naresh Baliyan raked up another controversy on Friday by saying that bureaucrats who lie and sit on files should be thrashed the same way as Prakash allegedly was.

“Bureaucrats who sit on files and stall projects should be given the same treatment as Prakash,” Baliyan said at an event in Delhi where Kejriwal was also present.

The government and the party distanced themselves from the comment and instead said that the impasse between the bureaucrats and the political executive was hampering governance in Delhi.

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