Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday claimed that the dharna by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three of his ministers at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office was an “excuse not to work”, NDTV reported. Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and ministers Gopal Rai and Satyender Jain have been protesting to demand that Indian Administrative Service officers who are on strike return to work.
“First of all, I don’t understand what their fight is about,” the Congress leader asked. ‘What is he fighting for? What’s the aim? It [the dharna] makes no sense. People of Delhi are very disappointed because they brought him [to power] with a huge majority and this is how he is treating them?”
In response to the chief minister’s demand that Delhi be granted full statehood, Dikshit said Kejriwal has to accept the fact that the national Capital is a Union Territory, and hold discussions with Baijal. “The photographs that have come out of their sit-in protest are disgraceful,” she said.
“Kejriwal should first read the Constitution. If he thinks that there is a need to make amendments to the Constitution [to give Delhi full statehood], he should approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliament,” Dikshit said, according to The Indian Express.
Four ambulances had reportedly arrived outside Baijal’s office on Friday afternoon, causing the Aam Aadmi Party to speculate that Kejriwal and his ministers would be taken away forcibly. Kejriwal said on Twitter that his ministers who are on strike–are fit. “Why are they planning to take them forcefully?” the chief minister said. “It is just four days. Both of them are fit. They are fighting for the people of Delhi.”
The Delhi High Court will on Monday hear a plea by lawyer Hari Nath Ram against the dharna. Ram has asked the court to order Kejriwal to discharge his chief ministerial responsibilities as the functioning of the Chief Minister’s Office has come to a “standstill” since the sit-in started.