New Delhi | Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday assured the IAS officers that he would ensure their safety saying they were part of his family and sought to break the four-month-long impasse between the AAP dispensation and the officers over an alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.
The statement came hours after the IAS officers’ association expressed concern over the safety of officers, asking the AAP government not to “use bureaucrats for political gains”.
Sharing his statement on Twitter, Kejriwal said, “I am told that IAS Officers Association has expressed concerns about their safety in a press conference today. I wish to assure them that I will ensure their safety and security with all powers and resources available at my command. It is my duty.”
A senior member of IAS Association AGMUT ( Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) said that they would hold a meeting tomorrow to decide the next course of action following the chief minister’s assurance.
Kejriwal, accompanied by his deputy Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, have stayed put at the Lieutenant Governor’s office since Monday, demanding that LG Anil Baijal should direct the IAS officers to end their “strike”.
The Delhi CM has said that he and his ministers will not leave until their demands are met.
According to the AAP government, the IAS officers have been on “strike” and boycotting meetings with ministers since the alleged assault on the chief secretary by some of AAP MLAs at the CM’s residence on the intervening night of February 19-20.
However, officers have maintained that no officer is on “strike” and no work has been affected.
“I have given similar assurances earlier also to many officers who have been meeting me privately. I reiterate it today.
“The officers are part of my family. I would urge them to stop their boycott of the elected government, return to work now and start attending all meetings of ministers, respond to their calls and messages and join them for field inspections,” Kejriwal said in a statement.
He also said, “They (officers) should work without fear or pressure. They should not come under any pressure from any sources, whether state government or central government or any political party.”
In the evening while addressing a press conference, the IAS officers’ association had asked the Delhi government not to use them for “political gains” and said that the AAP dispensation needed to “change its attitude”, reiterating that bureaucrats were not on “strike”.
The association alleged that “misinformation and false campaign” are being run to “malign” IAS officers by the government that they are on “strike”.
The association alleged officers were “totally in abnormal situation” where they are “targeted and victimised”, adding that bureaucrats are “apolitical and neutral” and their job is just to implement the policies of the government.
Refuting Kejriwal’s allegations, officers said that they were not working at the behest of anyone.
Earlier, the chief minister had alleged that officers have gone on “strike” following the directions of Prime Minister’s office and the “strike” is being “anchored” by Lt Governor Anil Baijal.