The IAS officers of Delhi, who are at the heart of a huge stand-off between the present government of Arvind Kejriwal and the Lieutenant Governor, the Centre’s representative, today held an unprecedented press conference to clarify that they were being victimized in a political battle. The officers said misinformation was being spread about them, even though they were “apolitical” and “neutral” and were “answerable only to the law and the constitution”.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been camping at the residence of the Lieutenant Governor with his Cabinet colleagues Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai for about a week to demand an end to the “undeclared strike,” action against officers who had allegedly been skipping work and acceptance of the demand for door delivery of rations to the poor. We have been targeted and victimised and told that we are working with someone. We would like to inform that we are not on strike,” Ms. Saxena said.
Calling the allegations “completely false and baseless”, the officers said “We are not on strike. We are attending all meetings, doing all our work”. They skip only the meetings in which they felt their “safety” and “self-respect” were at risk, they said. Soon after the IAS officers aired concerns about their safety, Mr. Kejriwal assured them in a statement that he would ensure their safety, saying they were part of his family.
Regarding last week’s unattended meeting called by the Delhi Environment minister, the IAS officers said it was called on “very short notice”. “The Environment Secretary could not reschedule his pre-scheduled meetings… he is also responsible for other departments,” an officer said.
Earlier in the day the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to resolve the “constitutional crisis” created by the tussle between Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Aam Aadmi Party government so that the “federal structure” was maintained.