Aam Aadmi Party minister Satyendra Jain after suffering a deterioration in his health during a hunger strike at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office was hospitalised late on Sunday.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal along with three other AAP ministers have been on hunger strike at L-G’s office since June 11; the demand seeking an end to IAS officer’s alleged strike.
Jain, who handles six ministries in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, was taken to the LNJP Hospital after he complained of headache, nausea, and breathing problems, Dr JS Passey said.
“After watching his ketone report, we decided to admit him to hospital. His blood pressure is normal now. He is having some breathing issues, but stable,” Dr Passey told.
Kejriwal, Jain, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and development minister Gopal Rai have camped at Baijal’s office since June 11, refusing to leave until the L-G makes IAS officers end an alleged strike. Sisodia is on a hunger strike too.
AAP leaders accompanied by thousands of party workers on Sunday marched towards the Prime Minister’s residence on Sunday in support of their ministers’ protest. The marchers walked from Mandi House in central Delhi before being stopped by police near the Parliament Street police station.
Urging city bureaucrats to attend meetings called by ministers, Kejriwal said that he would ensure the safety and security of officers “with all powers available at his command”.
“It is my duty… the officers are a part of my family. I would urge them to stop boycott of elected government, return to work and start attending all meetings of ministers, respond to their calls and messages and join them for field inspections. They should work without fear or pressure. They should not come under any pressure from any sources, whether state or central government or any political party,” Kejriwal said in a statement, his first such on the ongoing stand-off between the government and bureaucracy.
The CM’s statement came in response to safety concerns flagged by the IAS Association at a press conference on Sunday. Denying that they were on strike, the IAS officers said there was an atmosphere of “fear” and “mistrust” in the bureaucracy in the national capital.
“Whatever gathering or meeting it is, we don’t feel safe, (hence) we don’t attend. However, we are attending all statutory meetings. The misinformation, which is being spread, that we are on strike is completely false and baseless. We are all at work, conducting all public inspections, attending meetings. Everybody is working to their utmost sincerity, vigour and dedication,” the association’ s secretary Manisha Saxena said.
Saxena is divisional commissioner of Delhi and holds several charges in various departments. The IAS officers are likely to meet on Monday to discuss the next course of action.
The officers said the bureaucrats were completely “apolitical” and “neutral” and worked according to the law and the Constitution, adding that it was unfortunate that they were being used to score political points.
Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Modi to step in and end the IAS officers’ strike and “let the elected government work”.
The protest march also saw the presence of Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury who said that “federalism was being undermined”. The Shiv Sena and the NCP extended support to the AAP on the ongoing stand-off.