Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

What happened to Anshu Prakash

Anshu Prakash, who is the Delhi chief secretary, has alleged that he was manhandled by AAP MLAs

GN Bureau | February 20, 2018


#Arvind Kejriwal   #AAP   #Delhi chief secretary   #Anshu Prakash   #Aam Aadmi Party  
Anshu Prakash, Delhi chief secretary (Photo: Youtube)
Anshu Prakash, Delhi chief secretary (Photo: Youtube)

Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash’s claim that he was manhandled by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers in the presence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has kicked up a storm.

Here is what transpired on Monday night and the events that unfolded through Tuesday.
 
The top officer’s version:
Anshu Prakash, who succeeded MM Kutty as Delhi chief secretary on December 1, 2017, made the stunning allegation that he was manhandled by AAP MLAs on Monday night even though Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was present.
 
A 1986-batch IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, Anshu Prakash on Tuesday met union home minister Rajnath Singh. The bureaucrat is married to noted danseuse Swapan Sundari.
 
The AAP version:
“On being asked about the ration crisis, the CS said that he was not accountable to the MLAs, and only to @LtGovDelhi. If officers are not accountable to elected representatives, is this not a subversion of democracy?” tweeted AAP leader Atishi Marlena.
 
She said that poor implementation of Aadhaar has led to 2.5 lakh families not getting ration last month. Do the CM and elected representatives not have a right to ask officers about this? Are officials not accountable for such a grave crisis?
 
“Why are officers not concerned by 2.5 lakh families not getting ration? One wonders whether they are being used as a front by those who wish to disrupt governance in Delhi?, she asked in another tweet.
 
What did Kejriwal say?
Delhi CM office strongly denies allegations by the Chief Secretary. There was no incident of assault or attempted assault by any AAP MLAs, a statement said.

And what about bureaucrats?
The officials were quite upset with the development and DN Singh, the president of Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services, called for a strike until the accused were arrested. He described it as a “constitutional crisis”.
 
However, a while later, there was a re-think on the strike.
 
The officer’s association said that in public interest officers and staff will continue to work in their offices. However, no officer will attend meeting beyond the office hours, outside office premises, till such time the effective action is taken against all people behind this incident.
 
What did the BJP say?
BJP condemned the incident and its spokesperson Sambit Patra said that a constitutional crisis looms over Delhi. He said that AAP & anarchy have become synonymous.
 
And the Congress?
Congress leader Ajay Maken said that it will be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis. He demanded that LG should immediately meet Kejriwal so as to restore confidence among administrative officers.

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