Delhi Officers' Strike Has PM Modi's Blessing, Arvind Kejriwal Tells NDTV

Arvind Kejriwal has written two letters to PM Modi, requesting him to intervene and end what he calls the protest by officers in response to an alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary in February.

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Arvind Kejriwal's protest has drawn support from a wide section of opposition parties


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Mr Kejriwal along with 3 others have been on a sit-in protest for 6 days
  2. He has written 2 letters to PM Modi requesting him to intervene
  3. Several opposition leaders and non-BJP chief ministers have backed him
On Day 6 of his sit-in protest at Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal's house demanding that the "strike" by Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers be called off, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the crisis.

Mr Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai have been on a dharna at the Lt Governor's since Monday evening after they met Mr Baijal. The Chief Minister has written two letters to PM Modi, requesting him to intervene and end what he calls the protest by officers in response to an alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary in February.  

"Neither the LG nor the PM has given us time for a meeting. They don't want to meet us as they have nothing to say. Ours is such a simple and straightforward demand which no one can object to. At the behest of the PM, the LG has made the officers strike work", said Mr Kejriwal in response to questions sent by NDTV.

The Chief Minister, whose protest has drawn support from a wide section of opposition parties, went on to illustrate his allegation.

"A lot of good work has been done in Delhi in education, health, electricity and water sectors. People are asking if government schools in Delhi can do so well, why can't the same thing be done in Madhya Pradesh where the BJP has been in power for 15 years or Gujarat where the BJP has ruled for 30 years", said Mr Kejriwal.

The pass percentage in Delhi's government schools in this year's Class 12 exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was over 90 per cent, better than private schools. The state government attributes this success to a host of initiatives it has taken to better education standards in government schools.

"If we have made electricity cheaper for the people of Delhi, why couldn't the PM who has been in power for four years do the same for people across India? People are asking these questions to the BJP", said Mr Kejriwal.

The opposition Congress and BJP have targeted the Chief Minister, calling his dharna a "drama" at a time Delhi is facing a water and power crisis. Mr Kejriwal admitted to these problems, saying the "strike by officers has made the government dysfunctional".

If IAS officers don't take phone calls made by ministers or attend meetings, how can a government function, he asked.

"I want to ask the Prime Minister --- can he run the country for one day if officers don't attend meetings or take his calls? No, he cannot", Mr Kejriwal told NDTV.

The IAS association has already denied that any officer in Delhi is on strike but the Chief Minister disputes it.

"Yesterday, Environment Minister Imran Hussain called a meeting at 5 pm to address pollution but the environment secretary and DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) secretary did not show up. What else is a strike", asked Mr Kejriwal, adding that the dharna will continue till the strike by IAS officers is called off.

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