The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government is locked in a standoff with Delhi L-G Anil Baijal over administrative issues since a week. The primary demand of Chief Minister Kejriwal, who has been leading a sit-in at L-G’s office along with his Cabinet ministers, is that the lieutenant governor should direct IAS officers to end their “strike” and take action against those who have struck work. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai were the others who joined the sit-in with the AAP chief. However, Sisodia and Jain, who were on a hunger strike, were subsequently hospitalised after their health deteriorated.
The AAP government has also been demanding that Delhi be given full statehood. Here is a summary of what all happened since the first day of the AAP protest.
June 11, Monday:
CM Kejriwal and three of his Cabinet colleagues -Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, and Labour Minister Gopal Rai, began a dharna (sit-in) protest outside Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s office, accusing the Baijal of not letting the government run smoothly by not working to resolve the tussle between bureaucrats and the government in Delhi, after Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted by an AAP MLA earlier this year.
June 12, Tuesday:
With the LG not meeting the protesting ministers, PWD Minister Satyendar Jain launched a hunger strike.
June 13, Wednesday:
While the LG did not meet the agitating Delhi Cabinet Ministers, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia launched a hunger strike as well. Party workers and supporters also marched from Kejriwal’s residence to the LG’s office. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, in a letter to the LG, also urged him to take steps to end the four-month-long impasse between the ministers and the IAS officials in the local administration.
BJP’s Delhi wing, meanwhile, launched a counter dharna outside Kejriwal’s office against the “non-performance” of his government, raising power and water supply issues.
June 14, Thursday:
Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to urgently intervene in the issue. By evening, Kerala CM Vijayan Pinarayi had also urged the PM to intervene in the matter by writing a letter to him.
AAP workers launched a candle-march to protest against Baijal. The Delhi High Court, on the other hand, agreed to hear on June 18 a plea seeking to declare the sit-in by the CM and his cabinet colleagues as unconstitutional and illegal.
June 15, Friday:
Family members of Kejriwal, as well as his Cabinet ministers, were denied permission to meet the leaders protesting outside the LG’s office. “We wanted to meet our husbands for 10 minutes. They made us wait for 1.5 hours at the first barricade and then turned us away. Are we a security threat? Is he (Baijal) so insecure?” Sunita Kejriwal, a former IRS officer and wife of Arvind Kejriwal told news agencies.
Along with Sunita, Kejriwal’s mother, and the wives of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and PWD Minister Satyendar Jain had gone to meet the ministers around 6 pm inside Raj Niwas.
Kejriwal announced a door-to-door campaign from Monday to collect 10 lakh letters which would be addressed to PM Modi urging him to end the IAS officers’ strike.
Meanwhile, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit commented that Kejriwal should first read the Constitution before asking for full statehood.
June 16, Saturday:
On the sixth day, however, matter gained national attention as Kejriwal received shot in the arm after receiving support from four non-BJP chief ministers – West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh’s N Chandrababu Naidu. However, they were denied the permission to meet CM Kejriwal. They had arrived in the national capital to attend the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council meeting.
The four leaders extended their support to the Delhi CM and urged the Centre to “rise above politics”, solve the “constitutional crisis” and not “restrict the federal system”. They also paid a quick visit to CM Kejriwal’s residence.
June 17, Sunday:
The party called for a gherao of the PM’s office on Sunday over the issue of the IAS officers’ “strike” and led a march from Mandi House. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee made the pitch to PM Modi to resolve the standoff between Baijal and Kejriwal but she said the PM “did not say anything,” reported PTI. Satyendar Jain’s health, in the meantime, started deteriorating.
The IAS officers’ Association also spoke on the issue saying that they “are not on strike” and that they “do not feel safe attending the meetings,” in a reference to the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary in February. Hours later, Kejriwal replied that he would ensure their security at the meetings.
June 18, Monday:
The Delhi High Court, hearing a plea against the sit-in by AAP leader Kejriwal and another against the alleged strike by the IAS officers of Delhi government, rapped Kejriwal Cabinet saying, “You can’t go inside someone’s house and hold a strike.”
“Who authorised the strike/ dharna? You are sitting inside the LG’s office. If it’s a strike, it has to be outside the office,” the bench said.
Manish Sisodia has been shifted to hospital following his failing health.