Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party had emerged victorious in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, it has been doing outstanding work in the state. Instead of appreciating the good job done by AAP, BJP has been creating various hurdles to gain an upper hand over them. AAP has often alleged that BJP has not been giving a free hand to it for the smooth functioning of the Delhi government. The party has been demanding full statehood for Delhi but the centre has refused to pay heed towards it. The strike called by the IAS officers backed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is the latest bone of contention between AAP and BJP. Kejriwal who has been staging a protest at the LG office has forwarded a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has urged him to work without IAS officers attending his meeting. He also requested the PM to end the officers’ strike.
AAP leader Ravi Srivastava said, “Ever since the AAP government came into the power with a majority, BJP leaders are afraid of Kejriwal; hence, they don’t allow him to work. Initially, they took control of the Anti-Corruption Bureau department and snatched his administrative powers. Bureaucrats are not listening to the state government as their transfers are overseen by the central government. Despite this, AAP government has performed well in Delhi. The central government is trying to control state government and instigating the people against Kejriwal.”
The strike called by the IAS officers has already affected the day to day work of Delhi, thereby causing inconvenience to the citizens. Kejriwal tweeted, “How do we work like this? Can Modi ji try working like this even for a day? Can our critics kindly tell us how do we function like this?”
AAP National Secretary Pankaj Gupta said, “Modiji is deliberately trying to stall the work of the Kejriwal government. AAP government is working for the welfare of the people. The IAS officers are working as per the instructions of the central government but they don’t understand the hardships of Delhi residents. We are unable to deliver expected performance as the IAS officers are not cooperating. We will fight for the people and we will intensify our agitation if the centre fails to listen to our demand.”
Kejriwal’s agitation nonetheless received the backing of Mamata Banerjee, HD Kumaraswamy, Pinarayi Vijayan and N Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh respectively. The four Chief Ministers visited Kejriwal’s residence and met his family members. They said that the centre is creating hindrance in the federal system which is a threat to the nation. The support of the four Chief Ministers has boosted the confidence of Kejriwal who has always been sidelined by the centre. Kejriwal has already alleged that the centre has been using Lieutenant Governor, IAS officials and CBI to create roadblocks in his government’s functioning.
BJP MP Gopal Shetty said, “Kejriwal is protesting for hiding his failures and people disapprove of it. He is making false allegations against PM Modi. Some people feel that if they make allegations against Modiji day and night, they will get importance. We are not interfering in the functioning of the Delhi government. People are aware of the ground realities. Kejriwal failed to fulfil the promises made by him while campaigning for the election.”
The Delhi unit of BJP too had gone on an indefinite fast against the protest organised by Kejriwal. Thus, the BJP style of governance is getting exposed. The party creates hindrance in the functioning of the other parties and also addresses them as corrupt. They also hurl abuses on elected members of the opposition. The Modi government has been misusing its powers to stop the Delhi government’s functioning. Kejriwal alleged that LG Anil Baijal has been deliberately trying to stall AAP government’s bid to offer doorstep delivery of the government services.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, “Both BJP and AAP are fooling the Delhi residents. Congress has ruled Delhi for 15 years and has provided good governance under Sheila Dixit’s reign as the Chief Minister. The erstwhile Congress government has shown how to work even though Delhi state government has limited powers. Citizens are suffering due to false propaganda of BJP and AAP.”
AAP government under the leadership of Kejriwal has done a remarkable job in Delhi. The Mohalla Clinics started by the government has been acclaimed internationally. It has offered 50 per cent subsidy on electricity bills. Minimum wages of unskilled labours have been hiked from Rs 9,724 to Rs 13, 350 per month. Disability, old age pension, and widow pension have been increased by Rs 1,000 each. The Delhi Assembly has already passed the Jan Lokpal Bill but centre is yet to approve it.
Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Association called AAP government’s allegations as “false and baseless” and said that Delhi’s bureaucrats are not on a “strike”.