Sisodia too in hospital, IAS officers ready talk to Kejriwal

New Delhi, June 18
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was on hunger strike since June 13, was shifted to a hospital here on Monday due to failing health as IAS officers accused of non-cooperation offered to talk to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Sisodia was taken to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital from the Raj Niwas after his ketone level reached 7.4, following which doctors decided to hospitalize him, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sources said.

On Sunday night, Delhi cabinet Minister Satyendar Jain, who was also on indefinite hunger strike since June 12, was moved to the same hospital after his health too deteriorated.

This left Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague Gopal Rai at the office-cum-residence of Lt Governor Anil Baijal where they began their unprecedented protest on June 11 demanding that IAS officers serving the Delhi government end their de facto strike.

Jain's health is improving, doctors said on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the first sign of apparent rapprochement, IAS officers in Delhi on Monday said they were open to formal discussions to end the impasse in Delhi, a day after Kejriwal assured them their safety and dignity.

The IAS AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) Association said the officers looked forward to concrete interventions for their security and dignity.

"The Officers... welcome Chief Minister's appeal. We reiterate that we continue to be at work with full dedication and vigour. We look forward to concrete interventions for our security and dignity. We are open to formal discussions with the Chief Minister," the Association tweeted.

In response, Sisodia tweeted from his hospital bed: "That's precisely why we have been sitting at Raj Niwas for so many days requesting the LG to call all stakeholders and end this impasse.

"The LG is head of both 'services' and 'security'. So, the meeting should take place in his presence so that assurances related to those subjects could be given," Sisodia said.

On Sunday, Kejriwal said: "I wish to assure them that I will ensure their safety and security with all my powers and resources available at my command. I have given similar assurances earlier also to many officers who have been meeting me privately. I reiterate it."

Kejriwal and three of his Ministers have been camping in the Raj Niwas since June 11 demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike and the Centre to approve the Delhi government's proposal to deliver ration to the poor at their houses.

The issue has evoked sympathy for Kejriwal from the Chief Ministers of Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as well as leaders of the CPI, CPI-M, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Shiv Sena, which is a BJP ally.

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