Chief secy row: Delhi mulls live streaming of meetings; top 10 developments

Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash exits after meeting Lt Governor Anil Baijal over his alleged manhandling by an AAP MLA, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)
Following Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash's allegations of an assault during a meet at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, the Delhi Government is mulling live streaming of all official meetings. A senior government official said that as per the plan, a live feed of meetings with audio output will be available on a website. The government will allocate funds for the project in the upcoming budget if the plan is passed, the official told PTI.

"Through live streaming of official meetings, people will be able to know who spoke what in the meeting, be it the elected representative or officials," the official said.

"Plan is also to put all file movement and file notings online for people to see who was working on a file for how long, who cleared it and who wrote what on a particular file, be it the elected government or officers," he added.

Meanwhile, AAP's Uttam Nagar MLA Naresh Balyan was booked by the police for making "inflammatory" remarks against Delhi government officials.

Prakash's allegations had led to a political slugfest and brought the Delhi administration to a virtual halt. Delhi police even registered an FIR in the matter based on Prakash's complaint. The Delhi's top bureaucrat had alleged that he was beaten up by AAP lawmakers in the presence of Kejriwal at his official residence on 19 February. 

The FIR had led to the arrest of two AAP lawmakers, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal. Police had also conducted a search operation at Kejriwal's residence in connection with the case. 

On its part, the Aam Aadmi Party accused the Delhi police of acting like a bully at the behest of the Centre by acting against the chief minister and the party MLAs.

Here are the top 10 developments around the political storm that has gripped AAP and Delhi:

1. Delhi government mulling live streaming of official meetings: Delhi Government is planning to live stream all official meetings to prevent any such incident in the future. "Through live streaming of official meetings, people will be able to know who spoke what in the meeting, be it the elected representative or officials," a Delhi official told PTI.

2. FIR against Delhi AAP MLA Naresh Balyan: In more trouble for the ruling party in Delhi, police said on Sunday that AAP MLA Naresh Balyan was booked for saying that officers obstructing public work "should be beaten up".

Later, while speaking to news agencies, Balyan said that his remarks were misconstrued. He claimed that he had only meant that the public had the right to beat up erring officials. "My contention was that the people should be given ration on the basis of their ration cards and that people have the right to beat up officials obstructing its implementation," he said. 

The FIR was registered on Saturday at the Dabri police station in west Delhi.

3. Kejriwal's advisor says saw AAP MLAs assaulting Prakash: Kejriwal's advisor V K Jain brought fresh troubles for the Delhi government as he contradicted his earlier statement about the alleged attack on Prakash. The police informed the Delhi high court that "new facts" had emerged after interrogation of Jain, who disclosed that he has seen the two MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan assaulting Prakash. 

Previously, Jain had claimed that he had not seen anything as he had gone to the washroom at the time of the alleged incident.  "New facts have emerged in the case. The advisor to the CM is being interrogated and his statement under Section 164 of the CrPC has been recorded. He has given us four names. The police custody of both the MLAs is required to unearth the whole conspiracy," the prosecutor said moving a fresh plea for their custody.

4. AAP MLAs were miffled over Prakash delaying release of funds for publicity: Jain, in his statement, also disclosed that the MLAs randomly started questioning the chief secretary about the delay in the release of funds for the AAP government's media publicity regarding its achievement in education and fighting corruption.

5. Bureaucrats observe five minutes of silence every day: Delhi bureaucrats decided to observe 5-minutes of silence every day in protest against the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Prakash. The assocition of IAS and DANICS officers passed a resolution to observe a five-minute silence outside their offices on all working days at 1.30 pm everyday to express their anguish over the "breach of faith" by the political executive of the Delhi government. 

The Delhi government officer also pledged to maintain only written communication with the ministers untill Kejriwal apologises over the alleged attack. 

6. AAP MLAs sent to 14-day judicial custody: AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who were arrested for allegedly assaulting Chief Secretary Prakash, were on Thursday sent to 14-days judicial custody in Tihar Jail by a Delhi court, which reserved its order on their bail pleas for Friday.

Khan and Jarwal, on the expiry of their one-day judicial custody,  were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate, who heard their bail applications and put up for hearing a fresh application filed by the Delhi police seeking their custodial interrogation.

7. AAP minister, MLAs detained: On Thursday, a Delhi government minister and a number of AAP MLAs were detained by the police while they were trying to stage a demonstration in front of Home Minister Rajnath Singh's Akbar Road residence. They had gone there to protest the arrest of their party's Dalit MLA Prakash Jarwal. Subsequently, the detained AAP leaders and workers were released. 

"Our Dalit MLAs were whisked away by the police as they were attempting to stage a protest in front of Rajnath Singh's residence, while no action was taken against the BJP workers who demonstrated in front of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence," senior AAP leader Ashutosh told reporters.

8. 'Baijal a BJP agent': The Aam Aadmi Party slammed Lt Governor Anil Baijal, saying that he was "working as a BJP agent". The party called on Baijal to take action against those involved in "manhandling and beating up" Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh on Thursday said that his party's MLAs were being arrested without proof. "But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police," the AAP MP said.

9. BJP protests against 'autocratic' AAP govt: Delhi BJP workers and leaders on Thursday staged protests across the city, including at Manish Sisodia's residence, against the AAP government. a statement by the Delhi BJP said the demonstrations were held to protest the "autocratic, anarchic and corrupt" AAP.

Kuljeet Singh Chahal, general secretary of the Delhi unit of BJP, led the protest at Sisodia's residence. "People of Delhi are dejected to see the Arvind Kejriwal government violating the constitutional provisions laid by Baba Saheb Ambedkar," said Kuljeet Singh Chahal, general secretary of the Delhi unit of BJP.

10. 'Kejriwal must resign': Uping the ante against Kejriwal and his party, BJP called for Chief Minister's resignation. 
 Chahal, wgh also accused the AAP government and Kejriwal of not acting against his MLAs who allegedly assaulted the chief secretary. "They are promoting urban naxalism mindset in the people of the city. This kind of lawlessness was never seen before in the city. Thus the Chief Minister and his ministers must resign," he said.

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