Published On: Sun, Jun 17th, 2018

Don’t use officers for ‘political gains’: IAS body to AAP govt

New Delhi: The Delhi IAS association today asked the Arvind Kejriwal government not to use its officers for “political gains” and rebutted the AAP’s claim that they were on strike.

Revenue Secretary Manisha Saxena along with Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi, South Delhi District Magistrate Amjad Tak and others held a press conference and said that the IAS officers in Delhi are “working with utmost sincerity and dedication”.

It also said that the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation needs to “change its attitude”, amid Kejriwal’s standoff with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal over a “strike” by the officers.

The association alleged that “misinformation” is being given and “a false campaign” being run by the AAP government to “malign” the IAS officers that they are on “strike”.

At an unusual press conference here, representatives of the IAS AGMUT Association said they were “totally in an abnormal situation” where they are “targeted and victimised”.

They asserted that the officers are “apolitical and neutral” and their job is just to implement the policies of the government.

Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, accompanied by his deputy Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, have stayed put at the Lieutenant Governor’s office since Monday, demanding that Baijal should direct the IAS officers to end their “strike”.

Since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by some AAP MLAs at the chief minister’s residence on the intervening night of February 19-20, the officers have been demanding that Kejriwal should “make them feel safe” and take steps to ensure their safety while attending meetings with ministers.

Revenue Secretary Manisha Saxena, along with Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi, South Delhi District Magistrate Amjad Tak and Directorate of Information and Publicity Secretary Jaydev Sarangi held a press conference and said that the IAS officers in Delhi are “working with utmost sincerity and dedication”.

Countering Kejriwal’s allegations, Saxena, a senior member of IAS AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) Association, said that officers are not working at the behest of anyone.

In the past too, the chief minister had alleged that the officers had gone on “strike” following directions from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Asked whether bureaucrats have confidence in the chief minister after the alleged assault on the chief secretary, the association members said, “We have no confidence as there is no effort to build confidence “after the incident.

“We are answerable only to the law and the Constitution,” they said.

“We have been targeted and victimised and told that we are working with someone. We would like to inform that we are not on strike,” Saxena said.

She said that the officers will not attend those meetings where they feel “unsafe”, but added that meetings on important public issues and of statutory forums, such as the Cabinet, are being attended.

“We are just demanding that the chief minister should make us feel safe. Is it abnormal demand?,” Saxena said.

To a question, she said the government needs to change its attitude.

She said the officers, many of whom have been in service for long, have never seen such a situation.

Transport Commissioner Joshi claimed that she has been “threatened” in the past and that a personal attack is being made on her by a political party on its Twitter handle.

“We are attending meetings. Please don’t use us to achieve political gains…Let us work…It is not true that we are not attending meetings,” Joshi said.

The association claimed that two-three meetings have been cancelled since the sit-in by the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues at the LG’s office as ministers concerned were not available.

“We all are in our offices doing our work, conducting inspections and everybody is working with utmost sincerity and dedication,” Saxena said, adding that the “abnormal situation” forced them to address the press and clarify their stand.

The officers denied the charge that the secretaries in the Delhi government are not answering the phone calls of ministers and MLAs and said that none of the phone calls go unanswered.

“Delhi has a unique position and it is something on which we have no control….We neither support any political party nor we are against any political party. We work as per law and Constitution,” Saxena said.

PTI

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