Delhi Cabinet meeting recorded again, this time by administration

New Delhi: A Delhi Cabinet meeting on Tuesday was recorded by the General Administration Department (GAD) of the Delhi government, a senior official said, a week after the last cabinet meeting was recorded by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “media team”.

This comes in the wake of an alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence — where the officer had gone for a meeting — on Fabruary 19. Khan and Jarwal were later arrested.

Tuesday’s meeting was recorded by the GAD, a senior official told IANS, but added that “it was not based on any request” from the Chief Minister or the political executive.

After the last Cabinet meeting on February 27, Principal Secretary (GAD) Manoj Kumar Parida had written a letter to Kejriwal and requested that the original footage be handed over to the department for “safe keeping”.

The last meeting was recorded by Kejriwal’s “media team” and not by the government officials, Parida had said. But, an AAP government spokesperson had denied Parida’s claim and said that the “Delhi government” did the recording.

Both Cabinet meetings were attended by Prakash.

Sources told IANS that the footage of the previous meeting was not yet handed over to the GAD.

When reached out for a comment on GAD recording the meeting, an AAP government spokesperson told IANS: “We welcome the move and are open to any idea for transparency.”

But when asked about the delay in handing over footage of the last cabinet meeting, his cryptic reply was: “Talk to GAD or Chief Minister’s Office.”

A week after Prakash was allegedly attacked, sources close to the Chief Minister had said that the Delhi government was planning to live-stream all official meetings and the February 27 Cabinet meeting was recorded in line with the plan.

The alleged attack has created a rift between the AAP government and the bureaucracy, with Delhi Government Employees Joint Forum boycotting all meetings with ministers till Kejriwal tenders a “written public apology” for the incident.

Also, scores of officers are holding a five-minute silence every day during the lunch break outside their respective offices across the city.

Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that several government meetings were cancelled as bureaucrats boycotted them.

A Cabinet meeting was also cancelled last week as the bureaucrat concerned proceeded on a week-long leave.