BJP, Cong Join Hands to Slam AAP Over Alleged Attack on Chief Secy

BJP, Cong Join Hands to Slam AAP Over Alleged Attack on Chief Secy

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Amid political mudslinging, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress demanded resignation of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal following allegations that Aam Aadmi Party MLAs assaulted Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.

Prakash was allegedly assaulted by a few AAP legislators at Kejriwal's residence, on the night of Monday, 19 February. However, the chief minister's office dismissed the charge as "bizarre and baseless".

Constitutional Crisis in Delhi, Kejriwal Should Resign: BJP

The BJP accused Kejriwal of bringing "anarchy and lawlessness" in the city leading to a "constitutional crisis".

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Kejriwal of "raining down choicest of abuses" on Prakash and claimed that the spat was not caused by any issue of public importance but over the Delhi chief secretary's objections to his government's demand of releasing funds for advertisements praising the AAP chief.

Patra claimed that never before had any state witnessed such a situation in which a chief secretary was physically assaulted by the ruling party MLAs on the directions of a chief minister.

There is a constitutional crisis in Delhi and it has been caused by the lawlessness of Arvind Kejriwal and his MLAs. The government’s job is to maintain law and order and their behaviour is absolutely appalling.
Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson

Patra alleged that AAP MLAs held the bureaucrat by his hands and physically assaulted him. They were encouraged by Kejriwal's use of abuses in Hindi and then slapped and mistreated him, he alleged.

Congress Terms 'Assault' of Delhi Chief Secy Unfortunate

Terming the incident “unfortunate”, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said it could be an attempt to divert the attention of the country from the multi-crore bank fraud.

"It is an unfortunate incident. Such an incident should not have happened," Tewari told reporters, adding that the Congress ran a government in Delhi for 15 years in a proper way.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken termed the incident an administrative and constitutional crisis, saying this was another low.

He claimed that since the incident took place in front of the chief minister, Kejriwal should apologise. Maken also said the CM had no right to remain in office and should immediately resign.

He added that it would be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis and demanded that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor should meet the chief minister and restore confidence. He said the party doesn’t know how to govern and that it has failed miserably.

Maken along with Sheila Dikshit will also meet Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on the issue.

Bureaucrats Should Be Allowed to Work Freely: Rajnath Singh

Enraged over the alleged assault, on Tuesday, a delegation of IAS, DANICS and subordinate services of Delhi government met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who said civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear.

Singh said the Home Ministry has sought a report on the incident from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and "justice will be done".

Singh said the delegation of IAS, DANICS and subordinate services of Delhi government apprised him of the prevailing situation.

The delegation, which included the chief secretary, conveyed to the home minister that the "shocking physical assault meted out to the head of the administration of Delhi, in the form of blows on the head, amounting to threat to life and physical safety, is deplorable and and shocking", an official privy to the meeting said.

Secretary of the IAS Association, Delhi, Manisha Saxena said the chief secretary has been insulted and they need action and not an apology. "We want a case slapped on the MLAs”, she said.

"This incident is the culmination of a series of incidents of officers being subjected to verbal abuse and intimidation by political authorities from time to time", another member of the delegation said.

"All these incidents tend to lead to impairment of the effective functioning of the bureaucracy in free and impartial manner", he said.

AAP Accuses Chief Secy of Making "Casteist Comments"

The AAP, however, blamed the Centre for being biased in favouring the Chief Secretary without a proper independent probe. Party MLA Ajay Dutt filed a police complaint against Prakash for making "casteist remarks" during the meeting.

In the complaint, Dutt accused the top bureaucrat of "misbehaviour" on Monday night and hurling casteist remarks at him. He wrote:

He (Prakash) said you be within your limits... you have no right to question me. He used abusive language and moved out of the room.

Party leaders Aashish Khetan and Imran Hussain also filed police complaints about being heckled and manhandled after the Monday meeting and their party volunteers being thrashed by "motivated elements" masquerading as Delhi government employees, earlier on Tuesday.

The party said Khetan was "assaulted" by the mob after which he called the PCR (Police Control Room) and reported he was manhandled.

There was a mob, unruly and aggressive. They ran towards me shouting pro-BJP slogans... my staff has been hurt.
Aashish Khetan, AAP MLA

Prakash was called by Kejriwal regarding the issue of advertisements, which were not being released, a senior official said. However, the AAP claimed he had been called for a discussion on rations.

"The allegation of assault is totally bizarre and baseless," a senior official of the chief minister's office said.

(With inputs from IANS, PTI)

(The Quint, in association with BitGiving, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for an 8-month-old who was raped in Delhi on 28 January 2018. The baby girl, who we will refer to as 'Chhutki', was allegedly raped by her 28-year-old cousin when her parents were away. She has been discharged from AIIMS hospital after undergoing three surgeries, but needs more medical treatment in order to heal completely. Her parents hail from a low-income group and have stopped going to work so that they can take care of the baby. You can help cover Chhutki's medical expenses and secure her future. Every little bit counts. Click here to donate.)

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