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Chief secy vs Kejriwal: Delhi admin plunges into a crisis; top developments

Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted by 2 AAP lawmakers on Monday night at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence

BS Web Team/Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)

The Delhi administration plunged into a crisis on Tuesday as the city's top bureaucrat alleged that he was assaulted by ruling MLAs in front of and his deputy Manish Sisodia at the chief minister's residence in the capital, a charge rubbished by the party as 'bizarre'. Matters turned worse as Delhi Police registered an FIR in the matter based on the complaint of Anshu Prakash, even as the force did not name anyone in it. Throughout the day, allegations flew thick and fast with both sides -- the government and the Delhi bureaucrats -- levelling allegations and counter-allegations of attack on each other, even as the work in the Delhi Secretariat suffered.

Here are the top developments:

1. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought a report from Lt Governor Anil Baijal's over the issue.

2. Prakash also did not participate in the Cabinet meeting which was attended by another senior IAS Manoj Parida at the chief minister's residence.

3. Two associations of IAS and Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) criticised the attack, calling it 'breakdown of governance' in the capital.

4. After the incident, three associations of IAS, DANICS and DASS met Lt Governor Anil Baijal and lodged their protest against the attack. In a joint statement, the officers' body said that the incident appears to be "pre-planned and pre-meditated".

5. In his complaint, the chief secretary alleged that the assault on him at the camp office situated at the chief minister's residence in North Delhi's Flag Staff Road last night was 'premeditated' and a conspiracy of all those who were present at a meeting there. "They (MLAs) threatened to implicate him in false cases if the issue of releasing TV advertisements about the government's achievements was not resolved," Prakash said in his complaint to DCP (North) seeking action.

6. The said that he was called to the chief minister's office for a discussion on ration. "There was a meeting of MLAs at the CM's residence. The CS refused to answer questions, saying that he was not answerable to MLAs and the CM, and that he was answerable only to the LG. He (Prakash) even used bad language against some of the MLAs and left without answering any questions," the party claimed in a statement.

7. Later in the day, utter chaos unfolded inside the secretariat as Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain was mobbed by over a hundred officials and staff.

8. The demanded Kejriwal's resignation while the termed the incident an 'administrative and constitutional crisis' and sought an apology from the chief minister.

Other important developments:
1) Speaking to news agency ANI on the matter, Manisha Saxena, IAS Associate Secretary, said: "We have met the Lieutenant Governor and put forward our concerns. The chief secretary was called for a meeting late at night. The chief minister, deputy chief minister and MLAs were there. When the chief secretary reached, he was roughed up. For a few years, such things have been happening -- officers have been insulted and humiliated."

2) On Tuesday, AAP's Ashish Khaitan called the Police Control Room and alleged that he was manhandled at the Delhi Secretariat, news agencies reported. The Police have reached the spot.

3) Speaking about the alleged incident, leader Ajay Maken, according to news agency ANI, said: "It will be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis. LG should immediately meet Delhi CM Confidence should be restored among administrative officers."

4) Speaking on the alleged assault of Anshu Prakash, DN Singh, the Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services President, said that the lieutenant governor had been urged "to take legal action against those responsible". Likening the situation to a Constitutional crisis, Singh said, "...Never seen such a thing happen in the past many years."

5) Singh, according to news agency ANI, also said: "We are going on a strike with immediate effect". Expressing support for the Chief Secretary, he added that "until they (those at fault) are not arrested, we will not get back (to work)."

6) Commenting on the alleged incident, Congress' Sandeep Dikshit told news agencies that the incident clarified how AAP was "involved in malpractices and corruption". He likened the alleged incident to an act of thuggery.

7) Visuals from the Delhi Secretariat showed a large crowd gathered at the premises after news of the alleged assault broke out.

8) A war of words erupted on Tuesday between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the alleged assault on Anshu Prakash by AAP legislators in the presence of CM Kejriwal.

leader Vijender Gupta, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, alleged that Kejriwal, "in his dictatorial style", called the Chief Secretary at midnight on Monday and "berated" him in front of his MLAs, an allegation AAP said was "ludicrous".

"Drunk on power CM (Chief Minister) was concerned about why more funds were not dispersed for advertisements. Such is the state of affairs under AAP," Gupta tweeted. "In total, nine were present at the CM's residence when the Chief Secretary was assaulted. They represent people of Delhi but are nothing short of urban naxalites. How utterly disgusting behaviour!" he said.

9) spokesperson Nagendar Sharma denied the allegation saying the Chief Secretary was making false accusations at the behest of the BJP. Sharma said that during a meeting at Kejriwal's residence on the "faulty implementation" of Aadhaar, which "deprived about 250,000 (2.5 lakh) families of ration", the Chief Secretary refused to answer questions.

"Moreover, it is false information that the meeting and the argument was about TV ads. The entire discussion was on how a large number of families were not getting ration," Sharma said in a statement, adding, "Obviously, he (the Chief Secretary) is doing it at the BJP's behest. The BJP has stooped very low in disrupting governance in Delhi through the Lt Governor and officers."

"If the Chief Secretary can make such wild allegations, one can imagine the kind of obstacles that are being created in the AAP government's work by BJP through the officers," he said.

10) Mincing no words, the IAS Association Delhi told ANI: "The appalling and shocking physical assault meted out to the Head of the Administration of Delhi, in the form of blows on the head, amounting to threat to life and physical safety, is deplorable."

First Published: Tue, February 20 2018. 21:43 IST