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Officers skipping meetings for 3 months, intervene: Kejriwal writes to PM

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New Delhi:Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention to end the IAS officers’ “strike” claiming that Lt Governor Anil Baijal was doing “nothing” to break the impasse.
In his letter to Modi, Kejriwal cited instances when the government work was stuck as the officers have not been attending meetings with ministers for the past three months.
He said cleaning of drains before monsoon, setting up of mohalla clinics and measures to curb air pollution in Delhi are stuck because of the alleged strike by the IAS officers.
He said no meeting has taken place between IAS officers and ministers for the past three months to address the issue of air pollution, even as toxic pollutants in the air reached dangerous levels over the past three days.
The chief minister said the Centre and the L-G have control over the IAS officers and had they been under the Delhi government, their “strike” would have ended within hours.
Kejriwal wrote to Modi on the fourth day of the sit-in he and his ministers are holding at Baijal’s office, demanding that the L-G direct the IAS officers to end their “strike” and act against those who have struck work. They also want the L-G to approve the proposal for doorstep delivery of ration.
“Due to strike, several works are being affected. As L-G is doing nothing to end IAS officers’ strike, Delhi government and the people of Delhi request you (PM) with folded hands to get the strike called off immediately so that works of Delhi can resume,” Kejriwal said in the letter.
He said the cleaning of drains should start before the monsoon, but officers have not been attending meetings due to which work is suffering. Due to the strike, setting up of new mohalla clinics and poly clinics has come to a halt, he said.
“Pollution is the biggest problem in Delhi. Earlier, there was a review and planning meeting in every 15 days on the issue, but due to strike, there has been no such meeting in the last three months,” the chief minister alleged.
Separately in a tweet, Kejriwal alleged that the L-G office did not allow his brother to meet him. “My brother came to meet me from Pune. He was not allowed to meet me. This is wrong.”
In the morning, a team of doctors conducted a health check up of Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia and health Minister Satyendar Jain at the L-G office, who are on indefinite hunger strike to press for their demands.
Kejriwal has said they will not leave the L-G office until their demands are met. The Aam Aadmi Party has threatened to stage a “dharna” at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday if a solution to the issue was not found this week.
According to the AAP government, officers have not been attending meetings with the ministers and not picking up their calls due to which government work for people was suffering.
However, IAS officers’ association has claimed that no officer has been on strike and no work has been affected.
The L-G’s office recently slammed Kejriwal’s sit-in, saying it was one more “dharna without reason”.


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National

‘Mahagathbandhan’ club of ‘nawabs of negativity’: Jaitley

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Mumbai: The opposition “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) is a club of “nawabs of negativity” and the only glue of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

People of an aspirational society which is politically conscious will not buy into this “suicidal” alternative, the senior BJP leader said.

“The nawabs of negativity may come together but that is not something that will carry credibility as far as people are concerned,” Jaitley said, speaking via video link at the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leadership Awards event. During the video call, Jaitley also spoke about the Union Budget.

 

This was the first time Jaitley, now in the US for medical treatment, addressed a gathering since leaving the country on Tuesday.

The setback the ruling BJP suffered in Assembly elections in three heartland states recently (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) has enthused some opposition leaders about the likely electoral success of such an alternative.

The “mahagathbandhan” has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common programme aimed at building the country or an individual leader, Jaitley said.

As against the BJP’s strengths of leadership, decisiveness, performance and potential, the point being put forward by the opposition is of arithmetic, Jaitley highlighted.

In politics, it is not the arithmetic but chemistry which succeeds, he added.

“The premise is that we have politics which is negative in character and the negative politics is we want one man (Narendra Modi) out. On that negativity of wanting one man out, they (Opposition) have come together,” Jaitley said.

Arun Jaitley also said there is a need to elevate the political debate in the run up to the elections and stressed that we cannot afford a “sloganised political debate” where emotional cries take over sound policy.

Without mentioning the promise of farm loan waivers, which the opposition Congress is pitching for, the minister said “sloganised policies” never help the larger interest of the economy and it is the country’s aspirations which will receive a setback in the process.

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Govt compromising national security, why 36 Rafale jets instead of 126: Chidambaram

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday accused the government of compromising national security and asked why it bought only 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 126 required by the Air Force.

His comments come in the wake of fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in a media report which claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to but 36 aircraft instead of the 126 asked for by the Air Force pushed the price of each jet up by 41.42 per cent.

“In the light of new facts and revelations in THE HINDU, the question gains greater urgency: why did the government buy only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 126 aircraft required by the Air Force?,” Chidambaram asked in a tweet.

 

“The Government has compromised national security by denying to the Air Force the 7 squadrons (126 aircraft) that it desperately needs,” he said.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also took to Twitter to demand answers from Modi on the increased cost of aircraft. “The PM’s unilateral decision to buy 36 Rafales resulted in a price escalation of 41.42 per cent per jet. When will the prime minister answer? he asked.

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No war, but soldiers are dying on borders: Bhagwat

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Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said requisite steps need to combat killings on the border, as soldiers are being martyred sans a war-like situation in the country.

“In our country, there is no war at the moment, still people (soldiers) are getting martyred…Because we are not doing our jobs properly. We need to make efforts in this regard. If we want our country to reach the top, then we all should learn to sacrifice,” he said at a gathering here on Thursday.

Furthermore, Bhagwat said the responsibility of safeguarding the country should not be solely shouldered by the Forces.

 

“Everybody has to make efforts in this regard. This is not something for which we can give a contract to somebody. We keep thinking that the government will do it or the army will do it, the police will do it, but it’s not like that, the entire society has to make efforts,” he opined.

Citing the example of Israel, Bhagwat noted: “If one looks closely, after 70 long years, those countries in comparison with India have done better in terms of growth and development. Israel is a classic example. The natives were weed out before the 19 c. But citizens there gradually came back to their country and started their businesses, trade etc. Finally, in 1948 they got independence.”

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