Chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, and five members of his cabinet have been overnight guests of the Lt Governor’s sitting area for the last two days.
Kerjriwal’s current complaint is that the IAS officers have not been attending meetings with ministers or picking up their calls since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February. This has affected initiatives like of mohalla clinics, building of drains and release of funds. AAP’s protest is moving towards a head-on collision, with the chief minister threatening to impose ESMA on the IAS officials.
When the head of the government plays victim to the ‘strike’ by the bureaucracy, goes on a ‘dharna’ and stays away from work, the sufferers are the citizens. While it is understandable that Kejriwal went to seek help from the Lt Governor Anil Baijal to end the stand-off between the government and the bureaucrats, however not performing one’s sovereign duty towards the citizens has become a bane for Kejriwal.
For a party which came into power with an overwhelming majority, winning 67 of the seventy seats in the Vidhan Sabha, the AAP government has found it difficult to convert this to work on ground.
The broader issue is Kejriwal’s pet peeve that the government of Delhi, which is a Union Territory, does not have control over land, police or law and order. Its decisions have to be signed off by the Lieutenant Governor. State-hood of Delhi has been his long-standing demand. So, while the representative of the people of Delhi stages a protest march the question is who should the people of Delhi turn to?