Five metro stations have been shut down ahead of the AAP's march to PM's house.
New Delhi: Communication between Delhi's IAS officers and its elected government started this evening as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded to their press conference and reached out to them, promising security and seeking full cooperation. The bureaucrats, who had cited concerns about their security and claimed they were being victimised, are yet to react. In the evening, thousands of Aam Aadmi Party supporters were joined by a small team of flag-waving CPM cadres as they started march towards the Prime Minister's Office. The protesters were stopped midway by the police, who maintained that they did not seek permission for a march.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:
- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gave a public assurance to IAS officers about their safety and security. In a one-page message that he tweeted, he called the officers his "family" and urged them to stop "their boycott of elected government and return to work".
- The IAS officers said they were being "victimised" in a political battle when they owed allegiance not to any political party but "to the law and the Constitution". They said despite approaching all quarters, "no one has reached out to us to boost our confidence".
- CPM cadres joined the AAP rally after senior party leader Sitaram Yechury lent support to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying federalism was being undermined. In a series of tweets, he said the BJP, using offices of Governors and LGs, sought to "destabilise non-BJP democratically elected state govts".
- In the morning, the police clamped down on security in the heart of Delhi. Exits of five metro stations -- Patel Chowk, Udgyog Bhavan, Central Secretariat, Janpath and Lok Kalyan Marg - were shut and the police said they have "mobilized outside forces".
- AAP said they would march to the PM's house if he did not step in to resolve the four-month-long IAS officers' "strike" by Sunday. The party claimed 45,000 people have attended the march and that the police had tried to stop it by holding up buses meant to ferry supporters.
- Appeals for PM's intervention also came from Chief Ministers of Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Ministers met PM Modi on the sidelines of a crucial policy meeting of Niti Aayog, and asked him to step in.
- At the Niti Aayog meeting, PM Modi invoked "Team India" and said "the Governing Council has approached complex issues of governance... in the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism".
- Mr Kejriwal has received support from almost all opposition parties except the Congress. Today, besides Mr Yechuri, he received messages of support of DMK chief MK Stalin, Jharkhand leader Hemant Soren and Bihar's BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha.
- The Chief Minister, who had been camping out at the Lieutenant Governor's house for a week, has accused him and the Centre of backing the "strike" by the IAS officers. His government says work has been suffering for the last four months since the officers won't meet ministers or attend their phone calls.
- Over the last week, no one has been allowed to meet Mr Kejriwal or his ministers, who have been camping at the Lieutenant Governor's house. The visitors turned back includes the families of the minsters, party men, four chief ministers and other political leaders. AAP has asked the Lieutenant Governor to clarify if the protesters are under arrest.
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