After Delhi govt resumes work, Kejriwal opts for a 10-day leave

New Delhi: As the four-month stand-off between AAP leaders, IAS officers ended on Tuesday, the Delhi secretariat resumed functioning with at least 20 meetings held by the Ministers and civil servants on Wednesday.

The bureaucracy was still affected as the government announced that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will go on 10 days’ leave, throwing into uncertainty a meeting civil servants had sought with him. These civil servants had finalised this meeting after avoiding interaction with ministers due to “safety concerns” that stemmed from an alleged attack on chief secretary Anshu Prakash by ruling Aam Aadmi Party legislators on February 19.

The work boycott had resulted in an unprecedented nine-day sit-in protest at the office of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, by the AAP cabinet leaders including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, which ended on Tuesday.

Kejriwal, along with his deputy Manish Sisodia, labour minister Gopal Rai and public works department minister Satyendar Jain, had on June 11 gone to meet Baijal but did not leave the office, pressing the LG to intervene and get the bureaucrats to call off the boycott.

The impasse ended this week after Kejriwal made fresh appeals to the officials. But the bureaucrats asked him for a meeting to complete the rapprochement.

“Uncertainty looms over our meeting with the chief minister as he will be gone for 10 days,” said the association of AGMUT cadre IAS officers.

“We we have heard that he is unwell, which is understandable. But, some clarity on when the meeting will be held would make officers feel they are cared for by the CM and ministers. Otherwise, the assurance given by him sounds hollow with him gone,” it added.

According to a spokesperson, Kejriwal will attend a cabinet meeting on Thursday before heading to Bengaluru for naturopathy treatment. On Wednesday, Kejriwal did not come to office as he suffered from fever and high blood sugar, which deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said was a consequence of the sit-in at the visitors’ room of the L-G’s office. “CM’s blood sugar level is high at 400. He was scheduled to go to Bengaluru two days after meeting the L-G on June 11. But that could not happen,” Sisodia said. Kejriwal has diabetes.

Other ministers, however, held a number of meetings. They included the education, power, home, urban development, industries, environment and labour departments, apart from the PWD.