In a seemingly stiff message, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked bureaucrats serving with the Delhi government to not “play politics” with the elected representatives. In a virtual warning of sorts to the serving bureaucrats, Arvind Kejriwal, who himself served as Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer before joining active politics, remarked that the reign of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government may go even beyond a decade.
“People are happy and if the government continues this way we aren’t going anywhere for 10-15 years…” Kejriwal said.
Addressing the bureaucrats on Civil Services Day on Tuesday, CM Kejriwal said civil servants should become part of his “honest, transparent” government and serve the people of Delhi.
“You may like it or not, but we are here for 10-15 years. Those officers who are above 45 have no choice… We can tolerate anything but we will not tolerate politics. If you are interested in politics, then resign, contest elections and confront us,” he said.
Kejriwal’s remarks came at a time when Delhi government is in a midst of making an all-out effort for the successful implementation of the second phase of Odd-Even rule – a road rationing scheme for private vehicles based on its license plates.
“I would certainly expect from the bureaucracy to support the government with regard to implementing its policies and programmes in order to fulfil the promises made to the electorates,” he said.
In December last year, all the bureaucrats had gone on a day-long leave en mass, protesting suspension of two DANICS officers, holding charge of special secretary in the Home Department over charges of “in-subordiantion”.
Kejriwal government and the city bureaucracy have been at loggerheads over a host of issues ever since it came back to power in February last year.
Prominent among them were, ruling party’s series of objections over the appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary by the office of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and locking down of the office of Delhi government’s Principal Secretary of Services department Anindo Majumdar at the Delhi Secretariat.
The opposition BJP has now criticised Arvind Kejriwal’s remarks against the bureaucrats.