The Delhi government on Thursday alleged a “conspiracy” by the Centre to sabotage its odd-even number formula for traffic management after about 200 of its officers went on a day’s leave to protest the suspension of two of their colleagues, agencies report.
The development comes a day before Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s ‘odd-even formula’ – for restricting the number of vehicles on roads – starts its 15-day trial run on Friday. The implementation of the formula is thought to require the full strength of the bureaucracy.
“I want to ask why they went on mass leave before a day of odd-even scheme. PMO (officials) and LG were online in the yesterday meeting of DANICS association meeting… Thereafter, conspiracy was hatched,” Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called officers of the Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service “full-fledged B teams of BJP” after they decided to go on mass leave.
Another round of confrontation began between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Centre as the Narendra Modi-led government termed the DANICS suspensions ‘non est’ (does not exist) and said the two officers should be considered deemed to be on duty.
“People will be v happy if these officers go on long leave. Govt ready to give paid leave. Governance will become honest, smooth n efficient (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted. “Narendra Modi is using the shoulders of these officers and LG to shoot,” he added.
Subhash Chandra, special secretary (prisons), and Yashpal Garg, special secretary (prosecution), were suspended by the city government for allegedly refusing to sign on two cabinet notes about hiking the salaries of public prosecutors and prison staff.
Following the order, officers belonging to the DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) cadre — to which Chandra and Garg belong – decided to go on a strike. Subsequently, the central government declared the suspensions as invalid.
“The officers associations also chose to contact LG who is on leave in Goa, instead of contacting CM or Dy CM!” Sisodia tweeted. “We are committed to the people of Delhi and would make sure nothing stops even if these officers go on six months leave,” he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay said the suspension amounted to harassment of the officials and demanded Delhi home minister Satyendra Jain’s resignation. “The suspension of two special secretaries is a completely wrong administrative decision. BJP strongly opposes such harassment of officials and demands Jain’s resignation,” he said.
Jain was pressurising officials under his ministry to sign a file pertaining to the revision of pay scale of its standing counsel Rahul Mehra, alleged Upadhyay. “When the officers refused to sign the file regarding the unconstitutional hike in pay and allowances, Jain not only insulted the officers but also suspended them,” he said.