The Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, is revving up for another clash with the Centre over the suspension of two officers of the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services (DANICS) that the Home Ministry has declared null and void on Thursday.
The decision by the Ministry of Home Affairs to reverse the suspension of Yashpal Garg, special secretary (Prosecution), and Subhash Chandra, special secretary (Prisons), is not likely to go down well with the state government that has in the past clashed with the Centre over various bureaucratic issues.
The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service aspirants are selected through exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and can be only suspended by the Delhi Lt Governor with permission from the Union Home Ministry. They are responsible for the administrative functions of the National Capital, Delhi and the Union Territories.
Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain has called the MHA order a "conspiracy".
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"Why are they going on a one-day leave? Why don't they go for a one month leave rather than a day strike? Then we will show what good governance really looks like. Delhi public will be more satisfied and the national capital will be more corruption free," Jain told ANI. He's questioned the decision by the officers to approach Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung instead of speaking to the Chief Minister.
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The Delhi Government suspended the two senior officers after they refused to sign on a Cabinet decision file pertaining to the increase in salary of public prosecutors.
Around 200 DANICS officers today went on mass leave while 70 IAS officers have gone on a half-day leave, showing solidarity with the suspended officers.
There's apprehension that preparations for Delhi's road rationing plan will be hit as most of these officers are looking after the projects related to the scheme. The DANICS Officers' Association comprise around 200 members who hold crucial posts including that of SDM, secretary to minister and special secretary.
"This is the rift between the Delhi Government and the Centre. In that tussle, the people of Delhi are getting suppressed. They made different decisions and there was situation of conflict. Earlier, there was confusion whether the files will go to the LG or not. Now, he is saying he won't sign on the cabinet decisions. So, somewhere, there is a conspiracy," Congress leader JP Aggarwal told ANI.
Aggarwal pointed out that governing doesn't mean dictatorship and it is important to take decision by having dialogue and discussions.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vijender Gupta said Kejriwal should immediately resign on moral grounds.
"This is a very big issue that DANICS-cadre officers are on mass leave today. The way Kejriwal is running the government has created mess. I don't think the Delhi Government has any right to be in power for even one day. The Chief Minister should answer as to why such situation has arised. Chief Minister Kejriwal should immediately resign on moral grounds. The two officers were suspended without any reason because they refused to accept the illegal deeds of the Chief Minister," he said.
Since Kejriwal came to power, the state government has been at constant loggerheads with the Centre and Jung. Kejriwal had even written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the central government was using the LG to control the state government. The LG had annulled all bureaucrat appointments made by Kejriwal, calling himself the sole authority in matters of ordering transfer and posting of bureaucrats. (Inputs from agencies)
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