By the Way

Caught in Kejriwal’s war

Devi Lal, former Chief Minister of Haryana, used to say that whenever one is at a low ebb in politics, he/she should start fighting with the top leadership of the ruling party. It has a two-way advantage: if you win, nothing better than that and if you lose, people are afraid to fight with you as they are advised, keep away from him, he always fights with big people. Arvind Kejriwal hails from Haryana and he is following the same dictum in Delhi. He is on the warpath with all the bigshots of the nation since he has become Chief Minister of Delhi. In this milieu, most of the civil servants in the Delhi government do not have an idea how the Delhi government is running especially after the CBI raid on the office of Rajendra Kumar Sharma, PS to Kejriwal. Chetan Bhusan Sanghi, a 1988-batch IAS officer, who was heading many important departments has taken leave for three months. The buzz is that when even the CM’s officer is not safe, what protection is there for other officers. Most of the civil servants are working as they have to do their job but their enthusiasm for the new government, away from BJP and Congress culture, has withered away. What’s more, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has barred all bureaucrats except heads of departments (HoDs) from communicating with the media. Citing “inordinate” delays in processing files and policy, the Aam Aadmi Party has further decided that bureaucrats can object to a Cabinet minister’s decision only once. In a recent Cabinet decision, the government ordered that files sent for reconsideration, if cleared by the minister a second time, would be binding on all officials. It is not surprising that within the Delhi Secretariat, civil servants are saying they have to tune up the radio and keep the TV on all the time as “our government is more seen and heard on newspapers, TV and radio than files”.

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