The capital has seen many protests but this particular protest which is taking place today at Delhi is not only unprecedented but also puts a dent in the democratic credential of the Republic. The party in power in the Delhi, the Aam Admi Party is staging a protest in Delhi accusing the officers from the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) of not working and halting the administrative process in the capital for the last 4 months.
Following the support of the regional chief ministers of West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, the CPM has joined the protests accusing that the LG’s office is being misused and they believe that all anti-BJP state governments are being administratively barred from functioning normally. The AAP began marching from the Mandi House to Prime Minister’s residence in protest of the so-called strike by IAS officers. In a press conference addressed earlier today, the IAS association has clarified that they are working and brought out serious charges of violation of dignity and security against the AAP without naming them.
They stated that the officers are being threatened and there is an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that is prevalent in Delhi, with the Delhi Revenue secretary raising a question about the state of safety of government employees in Delhi if the Chief secretary gets such treatment. The transport secretary stated that misinformation has been spread and her own reputation has been vilified. The officers representing the IAS association clearly stated that they are attending all the ‘statutory’ meetings but they will continue to skip any meetings where they feel their safety and dignity can be threatened.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal continued to be in an offensive, holding a holier-than-thou attitude.
हम आ गये हैं आज सडक पर, लोकतंत्र की तलाश में ।
जब बैठी तानाशाही है, प्रधानमंत्री निवास में ।।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 17, 2018
The AAP has also countered the IAS’s charges by stating that the IAS officers are being disrespectful towards the AAP ministers and Arvind Kejriwal. Though Kejriwal has been vocal about this protest and rule of law in Delhi on twitter, interestingly the AAP did not care to take permission from the concerned police authorities before staging this protest. It is also noteworthy that there is a prohibitory section 144 already imposed in and around New Delhi. The DCP, New Delhi Madhur Varma confirmed while talking to ANI –
Ahead of AAP march, cops say no permission, lockdown in heart of Delhi
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 17, 2018
Amidst all these attacks and counter-attacks and political drama, the people of Delhi are suffering the most as reportedly there is a huge traffic jam caused by the protest march conducted by AAP along with the left. When asked about the reason for joining the protest, Yechury has stated – All parties who believe in the democratic principals of the Indian state are here with us in this protest.
A huge contingent of police personnel in full protective gear has been deployment along tear gas and barricades. Special Forces has also been deployed to prevent any kind of mishap and violence on the streets of violence.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, health minister Satyendra Jain and transport minister Gopal Rai have been camping inside Delhi LG Anil Baijal’s residence at Raj Bhavan demanding LG issues written orders to get IAS officers, who are not even on strike, to get back to work from the strike. Earlier this year, in February, Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had accused that AAP MLAs had assaulted him and threatened him with false cases in front of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The IAS Association took a strong stand against the incident and condemned it. The Association wrote that while they will continue to work, they will register their protest against the incident by wearing a black badge. In fact, on 11th June as well, the IAS Association had released a statement which asserted that there has been no strike and they have been working all these months, sometimes, even on holidays.
Earlier this week, in yet another protest rally carried out by Aam Aadmi Party, a very insensitive poster by AAP supporter was spotted that demanded to ‘take away Anil before Atal’, a sly dig on health of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is undergoing treatment in AIIMS hospital in Delhi, while calling for ‘dismissal’ for Delhi LG Anil Baijal, using the word ‘dismissal’ as a creative euphemism, perhaps.