To mend ties, Delhi ministers to meet govt officers today
NEW DELHI: In a bid to normalise relations with the bureaucrats, the ruling party ministers will start meetings from Monday. Social Welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam will be in the forefront from the Cabinet to handle the situation.
The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have asked Gautam to do the damage control.
"The minister has a good relationship with the officials and he has been in grassroots level social work as well as. He is a lawyer and he knows how to deal with these conditions," said a senior leader.
The Chief Minister and Deputy CM will also talk to the officials to manage the situation.
The alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has created a trust deficit between the bureaucracy and the AAP government that will be difficult to bridge, former chief secretaries, feel.
Two former top bureaucrats of Delhi — D M Spolia and P K Tripathi — said the alleged attack on Prakash by AAP MLAs last week was a culmination of a series of events in which bureaucrats had been targeted for reportedly not toeing the line of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
Spolia, who had two stints as Delhi chief secretary and also worked under the AAP government briefly, said the incident was a case of "bad manners, lack of etiquette and lack of decency" while Tripathi alleged the Kejriwal government seemed to believe if it subjected "the bureaucracy to torture...then they (the bureaucracy) will toe the line."
"You can have differences of opinion, but you don't manhandle people," said, Spolia.
The incident had sent shock waves among civil servants, said Spolia, who was the chief secretary from January 2013 to January 2014 and then between August 2014 and February 2015.
He warned that no bureaucrat would now feel comfortable offering the right kind of advice for the fear of being assaulted.
Asked if the incident had created a trust deficit between the bureaucracy and the AAP government, Spolia said in Hindi, "Aankh se aankh mila ke kaam kaise karenge (How will they face each other and work)."
Spolia said, "When you abuse so completely and with such contempt, do you think the bureaucracy would like to face you? Would they like to come in your presence? Nobody would like to work with you. When cracks develop, you can paper over them, but you can hardly wipe them out. Injuries and scars are very different. Injuries heal, scars stay."
Tripathi, who was the chief secretary of Delhi between 2011 and 2012, dismissed AAP's charge that the alleged assault was politically-motivated, saying no chief secretary would make such a wild allegation "unless, someone is actually subjected to this assault".
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