NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that officers will attend a meeting on the annual budget under the assumption that the CM would ensure they are not physically or verbally attacked.
The letter begin with Prakash noting that the Tuesday meeting was meant to finalise the dates for the budget session of the Delhi Assembly.
"The Delhi Government employees are working with full vigour and want that normal functioning of the Government should not suffer. Since finalizing dates of Budget Session and passing of the Budget are important for the functioning of the Government, I, along with my concerned colleague officers, will be attending the said meeting. However, this is based on the assumption that the CM will ensure that there is no physical attack or verbal assault on the officers," read Anshu Prakash's letter, addressed to Arvind Kejriwal among others.
"It is also hoped that in the said meeting, proper decorum will be maintained and dignity of the officers will be protected," Prakash added.
The letter comes in light of the controversy that erupted after Prakash alleged that he had been manhandled by AAP MLAs at a meeting at Kejriwal's house on the night of February 19. This had started a chain of blame and counter-blame between government officials and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party.
Delhi government officials had gone on a mass strike protesting the attack on their top officer. They wore black bands and demanded a written apology from Kejriwal for the behaviour of his MLAs and aides.
The AAP for its part refused to back down, with some leaders continuing to say that officers like Prakash deserved to be beaten up. Reports also emerged that the AAP would consider live streaming all meetings with officials.
This kerfuffle is only the latest run-in between the AAP regime with another branch of government. AAP and its leaders have repeatedly picked fights with the Centre and its Lieutenant Governor over control of the Delhi government, executive authority over which courts ruled lies in the hands of the LG.
The AAP's belligerence comes as a result of its poll promise in the 2015 elections that it would ensure Delhi received full statehood. The Delhi government at present has no control over police or land, both of which reside with the Ministry of Home Affairs, considering it includes the national capital.