Accusing Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal of supporting the officers’ decision not to interact with Ministers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Anil Baijal saying that the IAS association was issuing “a fatwa” like a “khap panchayat” if officers were scolded.
Referring to the officers’ boycott of meetings and phone calls of Ministers in protest against the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash last week, Manish Sisodia said the L-G was “openly supporting” the decision of the officers.
Sisodia said that if an IAS officer went to the L-G saying he was scolded by a Minister, then Mr. Baijal “wiped away the tears”, despite the officer’s inefficiency. Sisodia cited the example of the pending payments of anganwadi workers and helpers. He said the payments had not been made for the past three months, affecting the children who use the services of the anganwadi centres as well as the owners of the rented premises. Sisodia said that he had tried to make the officers understand, but to no avail. He added that had the officers been more sensitive, the issue of pending payments would not have cropped up. He said that if he scolded the officers, the latter would go to the L-G to complain of being demoralised.
“If we say too much, their IAS association, like a khap panchayat, would issue a fatwa against us — they will not answer a Minister’s call, not respond to a message, not attend meetings, etc,” Sisodia wrote.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Sisodia had written to Baijal informing him of the meetings that officers had skipped and asked him to ensure that officers start attending meetings since services were directly under the Lieutenant-Governor’s control. In response, Baijal wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to reach out to the officers directly. Officers of the IAS, the DANICS and the DASS cadres have been boycotting meetings with Ministers since the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary at the Chief Minister’s house by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs on the night of February 19 and 20.