Branding the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s allegations as “false and baseless,” the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Association said Delhi’s bureaucrats are not on a “strike.”
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, IAS Association member Manisha Saxena said, “I would like to inform that we are not on strike. The information that IAS officers in Delhi are on strike is completely false and baseless. We are attending meetings and all departments are doing their work. We are sometimes also working on holidays.”
She added, “Work is in progress. We are even working on holidays.”
In response to the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal government’s allegation that IAS officers were not meeting ministers or attending their phone calls, Saxena said, “We are apolitical. Irrespective of the government in power, we do our jobs. We have never been required to come out in the open and clarify our stand. This is an unusual press conference. We never imagined that we would have to hold a press conference to justify our job. We are answerable only to the law and Constitution.”
“The issues in Delhi are unique. Not everything is under our control but we do our job as per the Constitution,” she added.
Claiming that the officers were feeling “frightened and victimised,” another member and Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi said, “Let us do our work. We are being used for completely political reasons.”
Joshi added that she was targetted by the social media handles of a certain political party in an unfair manner. “We are here to do our work. Please don’t use us for political mileage,” she added.
The IAS association said that what happened with Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash could happen to any of the officers.
Prakash alleged that he was manhandled at Delhi Chief Minister’s residence by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs.
He had alleged that he was thrashed by two AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal at Kejriwal’s residence where he had been called to discuss Aadhaar-related problems.
Prakash said he was attacked in the presence of Kejriwal.
Kejriwal and some of his cabinet ministers like Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, and Gopal Rai are on a sit-in strike at Raj Niwas, the official residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, since June 11, demanding a direction to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers working under the Delhi administration to end their ‘undeclared strike’, among other demands.
The Delhi Chief Minister claimed that the IAS officers working for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) were “only working on important files” and “not responding to Ministers’ calls and messages, and not attending meetings”.
Therefore, Kejriwal had asked Baijal to direct the IAS officers to end their strike and take action against officers who have allegedly struck work for four months.
Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka also arrived at Lieutenant Governor Baijal’s office on Saturday to meet and extend support to the Delhi Chief Minister on the issue.