New Delhi, June 18: Amid the ongoing standoff between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor, the Aam Aadmi Party called for a key meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Monday.
The meeting came on the eighth day of the ‘dharna’ by the Delhi CM at the LG office in the national capital, demanding the latter direct IAS officers to end what the AAP described as their “strike” and approve doorstep ration delivery scheme.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court pulled up the Delhi government, stating that it cannot enter someone’s office and hold a strike there. The high court’s intervention came after BJP MLA Vijender Gupta approached it seeking an order to CM Kejriwal to end the strike.
Yesterday, Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike at the LG office, was admitted to the LNJP Hospital after his health deteriorated. The hospital today said that Jain’s health is stable.
Meanwhile, the IAS Officers Association came out in public to refute Kejriwal’s claims, saying that they were not on strike, further asking the Delhi government not to use its officers for “political gains”. It also said that the AAP dispensation needed to “change its attitude” amid Kejriwal’s standoff with Baijal.
In response to the IAS Association, Kejriwal — in a softened stand later in the night — assured them 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 officers are part of my family. I would urge them to stop their boycott of 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 wrote on Twitter.
Kejriwal’s sit-in at the LG office has received support from four chief ministers – West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy and Kerala’s Pinarai Vijayan. The four CMs on Sunday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Niti Aayog Governing Council and asked him to intervene and resolve the ongoing “crisis” in Delhi.
On the other hand, the Congress defended its decision to not join other political parties in supporting Kejriwal over his standoff with the Delhi L-G, calling the AAP leaders’ “dharna in an air-conditioned room” a “drama”.
BJP, the major opposition party in the Delhi Assembly, continued its bashing of AAP and Kejriwal, saying he resorted to a “political stunt” in a bid to form an “anti-BJP, anti-Narendra Modi” front in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Earlier in the day, workers of AAP staged a protest march but failed to reach their avowed destination — 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, the Prime Minister’s residence.
AAP leaders and workers began the march from Mandi House but were stopped at Parliament Street police station, way behind the finishing line – 7, LKM.