Deepening the divide between the Centre and the ruling AAP in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Thursday declared the Delhi government’s decision to suspend two DANICS cadre officers ‘non est’ (does not exist) and said they should be deemed to be on duty.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia hit back, alleging that the DANICS cadre officials, who went on mass leave Thursday to protest the suspension, had been instigated by the Centre to sabotage the odd-even vehicle policy being rolled out in the city Friday.
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Announcing that his government was “exploring all options” against officers on leave, Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung of “fuelling this protest” by DANICS officials. He alleged that Jung, though he was not in Delhi, spoke to the DANICS association a day earlier through ‘speaker phone’. “LG in turn was in touch with Nripendra Misra in PMO. DANICS and IAS associations in Delhi have become full-fledged B teams of BJP,” the Chief Minister alleged.
“LG in turn was in touch with Nripendra Misra in PMO. DANICS and IAS associations in Delhi have become full-fledged B teams of BJP,” the Chief Minister alleged.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the MHA said: “The Home Ministry has received a reference from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on the suspension of two DANICS officers. It declares the suspension order is ‘non est’ (mistake or does not exist) and the two officers should be considered deemed to be on duty.”
The Ministry said it was issuing an order terming the suspension of the two officers, Subhash Chandra and Yashpal Garg, null and void.
Chandra, Special Secretary, Prisons, and Garg, Special Secretary, Prosecution in the Delhi government’s Home department were suspended Tuesday after they allegedly refused to sign two cabinet notes that pertained to raises in the salary of public prosecutors and prison staff.
Following the Delhi government’s decision, members of the DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) Officers’ Association decided to go on leave to protest the suspension.
The DANICS officials received support from the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Union Territories) IAS Cadre Association, which extended “support to the DANICS resolution” and said, “it was jointly resolved to convey the concerns and anguish of both the associations to various government authorities concerned”.
But Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia said: “This is a conspiracy to fail the event of odd-even formula. The LG and PMO were on same page and were in contact. Officials have been under pressure from the Centre. These officials can take leave for six months, not just for a day. It is the duty of officials to implement cabinet decisions. Based on my experience, I am sure that absence of some of the officers in Delhi government can make people’s life more easy, better.”
“Professionals should be given chance to work on posts which require professional expertise. We will not stop development work even if these officers go on leave for six months. Why do we need so many IAS and DANICS officers in the government when fresh, dedicated professional talent is easily available in Delhi,” Sisodia said.