state news

Delhi ministers’ sit-in: Kejriwal seeks Modi’s intervention, AAP warns of protest at PMO on Sunday

The sit-in by four Delhi ministers at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office entered the fourth day on Thursday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, listing the work he claimed has been stalled because bureaucrats in the state have not attended meetings with ministers for over three months.

The sit-in by Kejriwal and three of his cabinet ministers at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office entered the fourth day on Thursday. The Aam Aadmi Party has threatened a protest at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday if their demands are not met this week.

Kejriwal urged Modi to intervene in the alleged strike by Indian Administrative Service officers, claiming that Baijal was doing “nothing” to resolve the matter. He claimed that work such as cleaning drains before the monsoon, setting up mohalla clinics, and measures to curb air pollution in the city are stuck because of the alleged strike.

“Had the IAS officers been under the Delhi government, the strike would have ended within 24 hours,” Kejriwal wrote in his letter. “But they come under the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor. Despite repeated requests, the LG is not doing anything to end the strike. So, the people of Delhi are now saying that the Centre and the LG have together organised this strike.”

In a tweet, Kejriwal also alleged that Baijal’s office had not allowed his brother to meet him. “My brother came to meet me from Pune,” he wrote. “He was not allowed to meet me. This is wrong.”

Meanwhile, a team of doctors conducted a health check-up of ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain at Baijal’s office, where they have been on a hunger strike to press their demands.

Kejriwal, Sisodia, Jain and Gopal Rai have been waiting at Baijal’s office since 5.30 pm on Monday to urge him to direct bureaucrats to end their alleged strike. Satyendar Jain started his indefinite hunger strike on Tuesday morning, and Sisodia the next day.

The government claims that Indian Administrative Service bureaucrats have been on a protest since February, when two Aam Aadmi Party MLAs allegedly assaulted Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash during a meeting at Kejriwal’s residence. The IAS Association, however, has refuted the claim. They claimed that no officer was on strike, but accepted that they were not attending routine meetings called by the ministers.

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