Arvind Kejriwal calls off AAP dharna at Delhi L-G's office after Anil Baijal assures him of IAS officers' cooperation

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called off his sit-in protest at Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal's office, nine days after he began the dharna along with three other ministers. He announced the decision soon after Baijal wrote to him — his first communication to Kejriwal since the Aam Aadmi Party began the protest on 11 June — assuring the chief minister that all IAS officers will attend end their strike and would attend all meetings that MLAs call.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who had participated in Kejriwal's dharna along with Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain and labour minister Gopal Rai, addressed the media after Kejriwal called off the protest. He listed out all the meetings that were held on Tuesday and mentioned how IAS officers had attended them.

On reaching home, the AAP leader told party activists to keep agitating for full statehood for Delhi, the lack of which he underlined was the root cause of problems related to governance in the national capital. He was greeted at his house by boisterous slogan-chanting by party members. "We will continue the struggle until Delhi becomes a full state," Kejriwal said.

The chief minister walked out of Baijal's office-cum-residence after IAS officers resumed attending the meetings called by the Delhi government.

Baijal wrote to Kejriwal after Sisodia reached out to him, seeking a meeting between the Delhi government and bureaucrats to end the impasse. In his letter, the L-G wrote that he was glad the chief minister had tweeted an appeal to IAS officers assuring them of safety during their interactions with the elected government.

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Baijal has asked Kejriwal to meet IAS officers at the earliest to address the concerns of both sides through dialogue. The L-G also wrote that the IAS officers had welcomed the chief minister's appeal and were awaiting his presence at the Secretariat to hold discussions.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Delhi chief minister had written to the prime minister, his third since Thursday. In his latest appeal, he called for Narendra Modi's intervention to resolve the deadlock between the government, lieutenant-governor and bureaucrats in Delhi. He also alleged that the prime minister intended to paralyse the Delhi government since it was not run by his Bharatiya Janata Party. "I am supposed to work with the IAS officers, but I can't take disciplinary action against them, can't transfer them, and I can't even punish the corrupt officers," Kejriwal wrote.

At a press conference earlier, Sisodia had said it was not possible to carry on the government's work with absentee officers.

There were also reports of AAP MLAs refusing to leave Baijal's office on Tuesday after attending a meeting on the Delhi Master Plan. An official release, issued by the L-G's office, said that two AAP legislators who attended the meeting left the office only after much pursuance.

With inputs from agencies.


Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 09:52 AM

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