New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today began an indefinite hunger strike at the office of the Lt Governor, where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues spent the second night, a day after Health Minister Satyendar Jain sat on a hunger strike there to press for their demands.
The AAP government’s demands to the L-G include direction to IAS officers to end their “strike”, action against those who have struck work for “four months”. It has also asked the L-G to approve the proposal for doorstep delivery of rations. Kejriwal tweeted from L-G office this morning, seeking to know whether it was “possible for IAS officers to return to work without green signal from PMO (Prime Minister’s Office)?” “Aren’t IAS officers merely tools being used by Modi govt to scuttle good work being done by Del govt? In another tweet, Kejriwal said their struggle continues to clear “hurdles” in Delhi’s development.
Announcing on Twitter, where Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues are quite active since the beginning of their sit-in at L-G office at 6 pm on Monday, Sisodia said he too has joined Jain in sitting on an indefinite hunger strike at the L-G office. “Today, I am also sitting on an indefinite hunger strike to ensure that Delhiites get their right and also get their pending works cleared. Satyendar Jain’s hunger strike is continuing since yesterday…” Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.
Yesterday, Kejriwal released a video from L-G office and said AAP ministers had “no option” but to stage a sit-in at L-G’s office as Lt Governor Anil Baijal was not paying heed to the Delhi government’s demands “despite several requests”. It was the first time in the history of Delhi that a chief minister and his cabinet colleagues hve spent a night at the L-G’s office in protest to press for their demands, sources said.
The move drew criticism from the Delhi BJP unit, which termed the sit-in as a “mockery of democracy”. “Making mockery of Democracy, No Work only Drama (sic),” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said on Twitter yesterday. However, the AAP maintained their fight will continue and they will not be “bogged down” till their demands are met. “Modi and LG are not allowing us to work for the betterment. LG is orchestrating the strike by the IAS officers,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said yesterday.
According to the AAP government, officers have not been attending meetings with the ministers and not picking up their calls due to which government work for people was suffering. Officers have gone on a “partial strike” since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on the intervening night of February 19-20, it said. In the video message, Kejriwal had said he and his ministers have been requesting the L-G since February 23 to issue directions to the IAS officers to end their “strike”, but the Lt Governor was not paying heed to their demands.
Kejriwal yesterday alleged that some officers have informed him that the L-G’s office was “orchestrating” the “officers’ strike” and that’s why the lt governor does not want bureaucrats to end their strike. The L-G’s office slammed Kejriwal’s sit-in, saying it was one more “dharna without reason”. A statement issued by Baijal’s office last evening, stated that he was “threatened” to summon officers and issue directions to them to end their “strike” immediately.