Equating IAS officers association with a “khap panchayat” which issues “fatwa” against the Delhi government, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Lt Governor Anil Baijal for “backing” officers boycotting meetings with Aam Aadmi Party ministers over the alleged attack on the chief secretary.
Sisodia’s remarks came a day after Baijal wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by MLAs on February 19 has sent “shock waves” among all sections of government employees across the country and had a demoralising effect on the bureaucracy.
Citing Baijal’s letter, Sisodia said when an IAS officer goes to the L-G claiming he was scolded by an AAP minister, he wipes his “tears” and despite his “uselessness”, the L-G encourages him to boycott meetings, saying he is standing with him.
“You (L-G) were requested (by the Delhi cabinet) to order some officers two days back to attend meetings, but despite this, you wrote a letter to the chief minister, which suggests that you are openly supporting the fatwa of IAS association under which junior officers are being forced not to attend meetings and speak to ministers...” Sisodia said in his letter to Baijal.
Claiming non-payment of salaries to anganwadi volunteers for three months in his three-page letter in Hindi, Sisodia continued to fire a salvo at Baijal, saying: “You are the Lt Governor of Delhi. You have also been an IAS officer, but I request you to stop seeing things through spectacles of an IAS officer.”
“Think about a three-year old child who goes to anganwadi, but his teacher has not got salary for the last three months.”
Baijal, a former bureaucrat, has also been a former Union home secretary.
In the letter, Sisodia demanded action against officers who are responsible for non-payment of salaries to anganwadi workers.
“I have tried to calmly make them (officers) understand, but they are not relenting. If they would have been sensitive, there would not have been non-payment of salaries to volunteers.
“If I scold them, they would approach you to register their demoralisation in your diary. If we say more, their IAS association issues fatwa against us like a ‘khaap panchayat’,” he said.
In the letter, the deputy chief minister asked Baijal to understand the truth of system sitting in Rajniwas and Secretariat.
“Attacking officers, Sisodia said, “If IAS officers union comes to you, please ask them how they stand in front of mirror after stopping payment of salaries of 30,000 families who are directly connected with anganwadi,” he said.
Earlier in the day, a joint forum of the Delhi government employees also welcomed the L-G for asking the chief minister to take officers in to confidence.
The forum reiterated its demand to seek apology from Kejriwal and Sisodia for the alleged assault on Prakash by some AAP MLAs at the chief minister’s residence.
The IAS and Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service officers have not been attending meetings with Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues since the alleged assault on the chief secretary.