Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Secretariat, Tuesday: One big yawn

A guard outside the deserted offices of ministers Manish Sisodia and Girish Soni A guard outside the deserted offices of ministers Manish Sisodia and Girish Soni
Written by Ruhi Bhasin | New Delhi | Posted: January 22, 2014 3:11 am | Updated: January 22, 2014 8:02 am

On Tuesday, the staff at the Delhi Secretariat were glued to their computer screens. But it was not files that were taking their attention or work which kept them busy.

Most were busy watching live clips of the Chief Minister’s protest on their desktops, as it unfolded outside Rail Bhawan, and discussing the events of the day.

The floor housing the Chief Minister’s office and those of his Cabinet ministers on a normal day would be crowded with visitors. But on Tuesday it was deserted.

Many officials were missing from action and so were visitors. The usual long queue in the reception area of those seeking passes to enter the Secretariat had completely disappeared.

“We are all relaxing today. No one is coming to the Secretariat. Everyone is going to Rail Bhawan now,’’ one of the staffers at the reception said.

Many of the senior officials held routine meetings in their departments. “Only urgent matters are being looked into by the CM and his ministers right now. Such files are being taken to them by their staff. Everyone is curious about how long the protest will last. Until things normalise, there is not much for us to do ,’’ an official said.

Officials who had to take files to Rail Bhawan for signatures of ministers spoke of their ordeal. “All the approach roads to Rail Bhawan were closed. Police were not letting us inside the cordoned-off area. We had to show the files we were carrying before they let us go to the ministers,’’ an official said.

Many of the senior officials had financial commissioner D M Spolia’s son’s wedding to attend in the evening and the  dharna came as a blessing for them.

Sitting opposite the Secretariat were contract teachers, who have been protesting there since January 15.  “ The CM had claimed that he would be working from the protest venue. We are contract teachers and we have been asking him to regularise our posts. But the AAP has no time for us,’’ Praveen Tobaria, president of the guest teachers’ association, said.

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