Arvind Kejriwal, a master of playing to the gallery, is at it again

If Kejriwal is playing to the gallery, then the Centre and LG are no less. The officers are enjoying their tacit support. In the ongoing tussle between the officers and the government, Delhi suffers

By S Khurram Raza

“Some people say I am an anarchist... I agree, I am an anarchist. There is disorder everywhere, inflation is hurting everyone; now we want disorder in the house of the home minister,” said the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2014 when he was protesting against Delhi Police officials as they had allegedly not cooperated with the government.

In January 2014, the Kejriwal-led government took to streets alleging that the Delhi police wasn’t cooperating with the then law minister Somnath Bharti during a raid against alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi. Kejriwal along with his ministers spent night outside Rail Bhawan and finally the then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung took a symbolic action against the erring policemen and the protest was called off.

Protests and Kejriwal are synonyms to each other. Now, again, the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal along with his Deputy and two senior Ministers are sitting on a protest in the waiting room of the Lieutenant Governor House since Monday evening asking the LG to summon the IAS officers and order them to call off their protests. They also want him to approve the doorstep delivery of rations.

A senior officer says, “They are alleging that the officers are not working but we are religiously doing our work but see what they are doing. Firsty, they are not working and secondly, they are restricting the functioning of LG’s office as all the meetings of the have been cancelled because they are there.” It’s a very peculiar situation where two important institutions of the government are at loggerheads and the bureaucracy is in the state of confusion.

Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues allege that the bureaucracy has not been taking their orders and that the PMO and LG are instigating the bureaucracy to rebel against the government.

However, the IAS Officers Association has stated that the officers are working with the government and submitting weekly reports to the ministers. Kapil Mishra, former cabinet colleague of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, tweeted, “Kejriwal is telling a lie, though he is resting on sofa whereas officers are working in their offices”.

The differences between the elected government and the IAS officers began when the Chief Minister called the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on February 19 midnight and it has been alleged that the AAP MLAs present at Chief Minister’s house misbehaved with the Chief Secretary.

Rajkumar Chauhan, a former PWD Minister in the Sheila Dikshit-cabinet says, “He is doing all this to divert attention from corruption in the water sector, the CCTV scam and the Mohalla clinic misadventures. The public is now realising that they committed a blunder by electing them.”

“You (Kejriwal) are apologising to Jaitley and Gadkari but not ready to express regret over the misbehaviour of your MLAs against Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash,” pointed out Chauhan.

The differences between the elected government and the IAS officers began when the Chief Minister called the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on February 19 midnight and it has been alleged that the AAP MLAs present at Chief Minister’s house misbehaved with the Chief Secretary. When the news of this misbehaviour spread, the officers got angry and demanded apology from Chief Minister. The police has already registered a case against the MLAs.

On Monday, the government passed a resolution in the Delhi Assembly demanding full statehood to Delhi. After the passage of this resolution, the chief Minister went to the LG House along with his three colleagues to meet the LG to demand that he should ask officers to end the protest.

If Kejriwal is playing to the gallery, then the Centre and LG are no less. The officers are enjoying their tacit support. At the Centre, the government has approved lateral recruitment but in Delhi they are against it. AAP is quoting service rules for officers where it is mentioned that officers are not allowed to participate in any protest.

Though, Kejriwal compromised on several issues during his three-year-old tenure such as no movement on Lokpal for which he sacrificed his 49-day-old government, free Wi-Fi in Delhi and several other issues promised in their manifesto, but with the ongoing tussle between officers and the elected Government, the common people of Delhi are suffering.

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.