Sisodia, Jain admitted to hospital in midst of strike

Sisodia, Jain admitted to hospital in midst of strike

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was on a hunger strike at Lt Governor's residence, being hospitalized at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on Monday. PTI.

Two AAP Ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyender Jain, who were sitting on a hunger strike in Lt Governor Anil Baijal's residence, were moved to hospital as their health deteriorated even as Delhi High Court on Monday raised questions about the protest led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The day also saw IAS Association welcoming the statement by Kejriwal ensuring their security while expressing readiness to hold talks while Sisodia wrote to Baijal to call a meeting.

While Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague Gopal Rai continued their sit-in at Raj Nivas for the eighth day, Sisodia, who was on a hunger strike, was moved to hospital on Monday. Jain, another Minister on hunger strike, was moved to hospital late on Sunday night.

In a disappointing note for the AAP, the High Court, though did not issue any interim directions, asked the Delhi government who had authorised such a protest. The observations by Justices A K Chawla and Navin Chawla came during hearing of two petitions, one against Kejriwal's protest and another against the alleged strike by IAS officers of the Delhi administration.

While listing the matter for hearing on June 22, the judges said, "who authorised the strike (sit-in by Kejriwal)? You are sitting inside the LG's office. If it's a strike, it has to be outside the office. You cannot hold a strike inside someone's office or residence." The Centre informed the court that no IAS officers were on strike and urged the bench to direct Kejriwal and others to vacate Lt Governor's residence.

In an apparent signal of a thaw, the AAP leaders first urged the officers to withdraw their "strike" and referred to Kejriwal's assurance of safety terming it a "good step forward". They said the "responsibility" now lies with the Centre and bureaucrats' fraternity to reciprocate.

Later in the day, the IAS Association welcomed Kejriwal's assurance, saying they are open to formal discussions with the chief minister on the matter. “We look forward to concrete interventions for our security & dignity. We are open to formal discussions with Chief Minister on this matter," they tweeted while once again refuting claims that they are on strike.

Sisodia also shot off a letter to Baijal to call a meeting to resolve the issue. "Happy for discussions with our officers. Delhi government committed to provide them safe and secure environment. However, LG is head of both "services" and "security". So, meeting should take place in his presence so that assurances related to those subjects could be given," Sisodia tweeted.