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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, IAS officers move to resolve stand-off as strike at L-G’s office continues

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been on a strike for eight days now at the Lieutenant Governor’s officer, demanding an intervention into alleged months-long IAS officers strike.

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2018 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi CM,Anil Baijal
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on June 18, 2018. Sisodia was on a hunger strike at Lt Governor's office.(PTI)

The stand-off between Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal appeared to be headed for a resolution after eight days of heightened political drama in the national Capital with deputy CM Manish Sisodia calling for a meeting between “all stakeholders” to end the impasse.

Sisodia, who was holed up in the L-G’s office in a sit-in protest since last Monday along with Kejriwal, PWD minister Satyendar Jain and labour minister Gopal Rai, had to be rushed to hospital on Monday due to a rise in toxin levels in his blood after six days of being on hunger strike. Jain, who had also been on a hunger strike, was taken to hospital on Sunday night.

That leaves only Kejriwal and Rai in the L-G’s office, from where they have refused to budge until the state bureaucracy ends a “strike”, and for which they were slammed by the Delhi high court on Monday. The court, while hearing a petition by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, expressed disapproval of the protest at the L-G’s office and asked who had authorised Kejriwal and his colleagues to stage a sit-in at the venue.

“Who authorised the strike/dharna? You are sitting inside the LG’s office. If it’s a strike, it has to be outside the office. You cannot hold a strike inside someone’s office or residence,” the court said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of turning a blind eye to the “anarchy” in Delhi and aiding “chaos and disorder”. “Delhi CM, sitting in dharna at LG office. BJP sitting in dharna at CM residence. Delhi bureaucrats addressing press conferences... PM turns a blind eye to the anarchy; rather nudges chaos and disorder. People of Delhi are the victims, as this drama plays out,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

On Sunday, Kejriwal had made an appeal to all Delhi government bureaucrats, saying they were a part of his “family” and asked them to return to work, saying he would guarantee their safety. On Monday afternoon, not long after the high court’s observations, the IAS officers’ association issued a statement welcoming Kejriwal’s appeal and seeking “formal discussions” with him.

“We look forward to concrete interventions for our security and dignity,” the association said.

Sisodia, who was in hospital by then, wrote to the L-G that in light of the IAS association’s statement, a meeting be convened in which all stakeholders participate.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 00:25 IST