Delhi deadlock ends as Kejriwal calls off sit-in

Delhi deadlock ends as Kejriwal calls off sit-in

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI/Twitter

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday called off his nine-day sit-in at the Lieutenant Governor's office over the "strike" by IAS officers after bureaucrats started attending meetings with AAP ministers.

The sit-in, which also saw two of his colleagues Manish Sisodia and Satyender Jain sitting on hunger strike, was marked by high political drama in the national capital with non-Congress Opposition rallying around the AAP, claiming that the NDA government was undermining the federal structure.

Kejriwal, along with Sisodia, Jain and Gopal Rai, had begun the protest on June 11, seeking Lt Governor Anil Baijal's intervention in ending the officers' "strike" and action against them. The bureaucrats have been on a war path with the AAP government over the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February.

Baijal, in his first communication after the AAP functionaries started their sit-in, also wrote to Kejriwal during the day, asking him to meet officers urgently to address concerns of both sides through dialogue. "The L-G requested the CM to urgently meet the officers at the Secretariat so that apprehensions and concerns of both sides can be suitably addressed through dialogue in the best interest of the people of Delhi," a statement said.

Sisodia said officers were responding to telephone calls from ministers. "All the top officers, including the chief secretary, were present at meetings called by ministers on Tuesday," he said, adding Kejriwal and Rai left L-G's house.

The parallel protest by BJP leaders and rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra in front of the Delhi Secretariat was also called off after Kejriwal's move.