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Kejriwal leaves for Bengaluru, Delhi IAS officers say they will wait for him

Delhi IAS officer say they would continue to observe their “silent protest” at their offices during lunch hours every day against the alleged assault on the chief secretary at Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19.

delhi Updated: Jun 22, 2018 09:37 IST
Ashish Mishra
Ashish Mishra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Bengaluru,Delhi IAS officers
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference at his residence after calling off his sit-in at the Lieutenant Governor's office, in New Delhi on Tuesday, June 18, 2018.(PTI)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday resumed office after a nine-day sit-in protest at the lieutenant governor Anil Baijal’s office that ended on Tuesday.

Kejriwal had a busy day on Thursday as he conducted meetings of the power and water departments. He chaired a cabinet meeting, which had last met on May 22, before leaving for Bengaluru in the afternoon for naturopathy.

The CM’s meeting with IAS officers to allay fears about their safety and security at work did not happen.

A Delhi government spokesperson said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia contacted chief secretary Anshu Prakash and secretary the IAS AGMUT Association Manisha Saxena to address the issue.

But the association maintained that they would discuss the matter only in the presence of the chief minister.

The bureaucrats said they would wait for the CM to return but would continue to observe their “silent protest” at their respective offices during lunch hours every day against the alleged assault on the chief secretary at Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19.

“The appeal to ensure the safety and security of bureaucrats was issued by the chief minister and so we would like to have any discussion or meeting on this issue in his (Kejriwal) presence only. We understand that he is unwell so we will wait for 10 days until he returns from Bengaluru,” said a functionary of the IAS AGMUT association.

A government spokesperson said the chief minister’s schedule was packed on Thursday because of several meetings so he directed the deputy CM to “initiate talks” with the bureaucrats.

“The deputy CM established contact with the chief secretary and also with the secretary IAS association for the dialogue but both said that they would wait for the CM to return,” the spokesperson said.

Kejriwal along with Sisodia and cabinet colleagues Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai had staged a sit-in at the visitor’s room at the L-G’s office on June 11, asking Baijal to direct the IAS officers to end their alleged “strike”.

While Sisodia and Jain had resumed work on Tuesday, Kejriwal could not join his office on Wednesday because of high blood sugar level and fever.

On Thursday, Kejriwal reached his office at Delhi secretariat sharp at 9:45 am. The first meeting he convened was with Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials. In the meeting Kejriwal, who holds the water portfolio, took stock of various projects for water augmentation and sought daily reports on the water situation.

This was followed by a meeting on the city’s current power scenario, which was attended by power minister Jain, power secretary Varsha Joshi and other officials.

In the afternoon Kejriwal chaired a cabinet meeting and then left for Bengaluru.

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 09:37 IST