New Delhi: The alleged manhandling of Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash by a group of AAP MLAs has triggered a massive political slugfest, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday terming it an act of "Urban Naxalism" and the Congress demanding an apology from chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Late evening on Tuesday, IAS, DANICS and DASS bureaucrats decided not to attend any meeting called by the Delhi government until Kejriwal apologises and action is taken against the AAP MLAs involved.
The controversy erupted after the Delhi chief secretary was allegedly manhandled by some AAP MLAs at Kejriwal’s residence on Monday night, reportedly in the presence of Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manisha Sisodia.
Describing the incident “an act of Urban Naxalism", Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari sought Kejriwal’s resignation, a high-level inquiry against him and suspension of the legislators concerned.
“ArvindKejriwal and his Goon MLAs misbehaved and threatened the Chief secretary of NCT Delhi Government last night... another shameful act of @AamAadmiParty Goons... an act of Urban Naxalism... #UrbanNaxaliteKejriwal must Resign (sic)," PTI quoted him as saying in a tweet.
Echoing his sentiments, a senior BJP leader claimed that in total, nine AAP MLAs were present at the chief minister’s residence when Prakash was assaulted. “They represent the people of Delhi but are nothing short of Urban Naxalites. How utterly disgusting behaviour!," he said.
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken launched a scathing attack on the AAP government, accusing it of being a complete failure and demanded that Kejriwal apologizes for this “hooliganism".
“Kejriwal should apologize for this hooliganism which took place before him-AAP Govt is unable to deliver-Beating of Chief Secretary by MLAs in front of CM is another low & is aimed to divert attention from Govt failures! AAP does not know Governance and has failed miserably (sic)," PTI quoted him as saying in a tweet.
Senior Congress leader J.P. Agarwal sought L-G’s intervention and said that an all-party meeting should be called in this regard. “We have run Delhi government for 15 years and never has there been such a problem. One should not stoop to such level," he said. He also called for Kejriwal’s resignation.
Meanwhile, condemning the attack on the Delhi chief secretary, the bureaucrats said it was “pre-planned and pre-meditated". The have also met the Union home minister, Rajnath Singh, and L-G Anil Baijal to lodge their protest and apprise them of the prevailing situation.
A delegation of IAS, DANICS and subordinate services of the Delhi government met the home minister, who said civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear.
“I am deeply pained by the happenings involving the chief secretary of the Delhi government. The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear," Singh said in a tweet.
The home minister said the home ministry has sought a report on the incident from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and “justice will be done".
Earlier, the bureaucrats had also met with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to apprise him of the situation.
AAP has rejected their claim and said that the chief secretary had been called for a discussion on rations and the allegation of assault is totally “bizarre and baseless".
Countering their allegation, AAP said in a statement that about 2.5 lakh families were deprived of rations last month due to faulty Aadhaar implementation and party MLAs were under tremendous pressure from the public.
“There was a meeting of MLAs at the CM’s residence. The chief secretary refused to answer questions, saying that he was not answerable to MLAs and the chief minister, and that he was answerable only to the L-G.
“He (Prakash) even used bad language against some of the MLAs and left without answering any questions," the party claimed in a statement.
It described as “false information" claims that the meeting and the argument was about TV ads. The entire discussion was on a large number of families, who were not getting their rations, it said.
“Now he (the chief secretary) is making such ludicrous allegations. Obviously, he is doing it at BJP’s behest. The BJP has stooped very low in disrupting governance in Delhi through the LG and officers. If the CS can make such wild allegations, one can imagine the kind of obstacles that are being created in AAP government’s work by the BJP through the officers," the statement said.