De facto President’s Rule in Delhi: Kejriwal

AAP MPs, MLAs and councillors sit outside the Raj Ghat in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues in New Delhi. File

AAP MPs, MLAs and councillors sit outside the Raj Ghat in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Delhi Chief Minister’s dharna continues for the sixth day

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said there was “de facto President’s Rule” in the national capital due to what his Aam Aadmi Party termed as an illegal strike by Delhi government officers.

Mr. Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai have been staging a sit-in inside a visitors’ room at Raj Niwas since Monday evening, demanding that Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal order an end to what they call a strike by officers. Raj Niwas and the IAS officers’ association has said there is no strike. The officers have, however, restricted communication with the political executive to the written form alone since February, in protest of the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs at Mr. Kejriwal’s residence.

On day six of the sit-in, Mr. Kejriwal responded to a tweet by a journalist that said the officers withdrawing from work was a de facto imposition of President’s Rule.

“I agree. It is de facto President’s rule in Delhi thro IAS strike (sic),” the Chief Minister tweeted.

On Friday, the Chief Minister had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to intervene to end the “strike” so he would be able to leave Raj Niwas and attend a meeting of Niti Aayog scheduled on Sunday.

According to the medical bulletins released by AAP spokespersons, Mr. Sisodia and Mr. Jain, who are on indefinite fast, had low blood sugar and reported weight loss.

Meanwhile, the AAP, which had carried out a protest march from the Chief Minister’s residence to Raj Niwas on Wednesday, planned a march on Sunday. AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta said at a press conference that AAP leaders and workers would gather at Mandi House at 4 p.m. on Sunday and then proceed towards the Prime Minister’s residence.

“On one hand, the country is celebrating Eid today [Saturday], on the other hand, the L-G has not found time to meet the Chief Minister and ministers for six days,” he said.

He added that Sunday’s protest would push for two demands — that the Prime Minister intervene to end the “strike” by officers and that the Centre give Delhi the status of a full state.

The police said that they had made elaborate arrangements for the march on Sunday and over 600 officers, including of the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces, would be deployed in the area.

“No one will be allowed to violate any laws and no unlawful activity will be allowed. A multi-layer arrangement has been put in place,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 10:03:39 PM |

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