New Delhi, June 18: The sit-in led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with his three ministers entered the eighth day on Monday. Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai began their protest at the Raj Niwas on June 11 demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike. Things came to a head when BJP MLA Vijender Gupta approached the Delhi High Court, seeking an order to the AAP leaders to end their strike. Hearing the petition, the court said they couldn’t just barge into someone’s office to hold a strike there.
Kejriwal’s protest has received support from four non-BJP chief ministers – West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy and Kerala’s Pinarai Vijayan. The four CMs on Sunday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Niti Aayog Governing Council and asked him to intervene and resolve the ongoing “crisis” in Delhi.
Kejriwal accused the BJP of pressuring IAS officers and said their “strike” was being instigated by the Centre’s ruling party. The Delhi CM urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the IAS officers in the Delhi administration to end their strike.
Earlier in the day, workers of AAP staged a protest march but failed to reach their avowed destination — 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, the Prime Minister’s residence. AAP leaders and workers began the march from Mandi House but were stopped at Parliament Street police station, way behind the finishing line.
Here are the top developments in the stand-off:
1. Delhi High Court has pulled up Arvind Kejriwal and asked the AAP government who authorised the sit-in by Kejriwal and some of his Cabinet colleagues at the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
2. Health Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain admitted in LNJP Hospital after his health deteriorates during the ongoing ‘dharna’ at Raj Niwas late on Sunday. On Monday, a doctor attending to Jain said his condition was stable.
3. Late on Monday evening, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was admitted to LNGP hospital after his ketone level reached 7.4. He had been on the strike for the past six days.
4. The Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, came out in support of Arvind Kejriwal. “The type of movement Arvind Kejriwal has started is a unique one. Uddhav Thackeray had a conversation with him and said that Kejriwal has the right to work for Delhi because they are the elected govt. whatever is happening to them, it’s not good for democracy,” said Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena.
5. The Samajwadi Party backed the AAP government against the Central government. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed Arvind Kejriwal, saying that when it comes to doing tasks, he is “zero”, but when you talk of protests, he is a “hero”.
6. Samajwadi Party leader and MP Ram Gopal Yadav, who went to meet Jain and Sisodia in hospital, said it was “unfortunate” that a government working for the welfare of Delhi was obstructed by the Lt. Governor.
7. Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed AAP and BJP and tweeted, “Delhi CM, sitting in Dharna at LG office. BJP sitting in Dharna at CM residence. Delhi bureaucrats addressing press conferences. PM turns a blind eye to the anarchy; rather nudges chaos & disorder. People of Delhi are the victims, as this drama plays out.”
8. Tamil Nadu CPI(M) leader D Raja hit out at the Delhi L-G and PM Modi saying, “This is the most unprecedented and arrogant display by the L-G and PM. The Congress being a pan-India party should have stood for democratic values. They should answer as to why they’re not.”
9. Later in the day, the IAS officers from AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories) Association welcomed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal regarding their safety and security, saying they are open to discussions on issues of governance in the national capital.
10. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Manoj Tiwari slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his absence from his office for a week and said that it should be decided now if he is “even fit to hold the CM office.”
11. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “If anyone who has stopped developmental work, be it in Bihar or Delhi, it is the BJP. BJP can take any step for political gain. What is the reason for Lt Governor not meeting Delhi CM?”
(with agency inputs)