In what can be seen as a new opportunity for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress to target the Arvind Kejriwal Government, a top bureaucrat has claimed to have been abused and assaulted by two AAP MLAs at the chief minister’s residence late on Monday evening.
Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has alleged that the incident took place when he was called to discuss the issue of distribution of ration as well as the advertisements for Delhi government’s three-year anniversary at Kejriwal’s residence. A few MLAs were also reportedly present at the meeting. While the AAP has denied the allegations, Prakash is scheduled to meet Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal over the matter. READ HERE FOR LIVE UPDATES
AAP has termed the chief secretary’s allegations as “ludicrous” and accused him of acting at “BJP’s behest.” Taking to Twitter, the party said, “About 2.5 lakh families deprived of rations last month due to faulty implementation of Aadhar. MLAs were under tremendous pressure from the public. There was a meeting of MLAs at CM residence. CS refused to answer questions saying that he was not answerable to MLAs and CM and that he was answerable only to LG. He even used bad language against some MLAs and left without answering any questions.” The party also denied reports that there was a discussion on the party’s advertisements.
AAP’s response to false allegations by Chief Secretary
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) February 20, 2018
Hours after the Chief Secretary’s allegations became public, AAP leader Ashish Khetan held a press conference and said party members were heckled inside the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday afternoon. “It was a riot like situation, a crowd had gathered who became violent and even raised slogans, we don’t know who they were. Everything is on CCTV,will be clear from it. Police were mute spectators,” Khetan claimed.
He also said he had sought a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh to apprise him of the incidents at Delhi Secretariat this afternoon. “Minorities Minister & I were assaulted. The entire incident has been captured on camera. Hope you will do justice,” Khetan tweeted. He also claimed that the Home Ministry has denied him a meeting with Singh. “I just received a call from Hon’ble HM
@rajnathsingh ji’s office. I have been told that HM is very busy and he wont be able to meet me,” he said.
In an e-mail sent to Delhi Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and LG Baijal, AAP leader Prakash Jarwal also alleged that it was the chief secretary who misbehaved at the meeting and stormed out of it. The letter also alleged that the chief secretary made casteist remarks against Dalit leaders Ajay Dutt and Jarwal.
Meanwhile, Manisha Sinha, secretary of IAS association said that they will continue to work for public interest wearing black band to show their protest.
“We met the Lieutenant Governor and put forward our concerns. The Chief Secretary was called for a meeting late at night; chief minister, deputy chief minister and MLAs were there. When the Chief Secretary reached, he was roughed up. Since few years such things have been happening, officers have been insulted and humiliated,” ANI quoted Sinha as saying.
DN Singh, the president of Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services, has called for a strike until the accused are arrested. Calling it a “constitutional crisis,” he said, ” We are going on a strike with immediate effect, we are with our Chief Secretary until they (those at fault) are not arrested we will not get back (to work). We have urged LG to take legal action be taken against those responsible. This is like a constitutional crisis, never seen such a thing happen in the past many years,” as reported by ANI.
Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Ajay Maken called it a “new low” and asked CM Kerjiwal to apologise for the “hooliganism which took place before him” “AAP govt is unable to deliver-Beating of Chief Secretary by MLAs in front of CM is another low & is aimed to divert attention from Govt failures! AAP does not know Governance and has failed miserably,” he wrote on Twitter. “It will be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis. LG should immediately meet Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Confidence should be restored among administrative officers,” he said while addressing a press conference in the National Capital.
“It clarifies how AAP is involved in malpractices and corruption. If something good happens Kejriwal and his MLAs take credit and if it’s something bad onus falls on govt. Is tarah se haathapaai karna! Koi gundagardi hai kya?” ANI quoted Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit as saying.
The IAS Association also condemned the alleged assault on the Delhi Chief Secretary. “It’s a criminal, cowardly & deplorable act and an assault on the Constitution. We stand by our colleagues in Delhi and demand immediate arrest of the perpetrators of such shameful act,” IAS Association tweeted.