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Delhi: AAP leaders, workers stage massive protest march from Mandi House to PM's residence

The Delhiites will assemble at Mandi House at 4 pm and march to the PMO under the party banner to support Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers' sit-in protest.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: June 17, 2018 22:08 IST ]
The AAP protest march was blocked at the Sansad Marg on

The AAP protest march was blocked at the Sansad Marg on Sunday.

With no signs of a possible reconciliation, the impasse between the AAP government in Delhi and LG Anil Baijal intensified on Sunday. 

 The AAP leaders and workers began the march from Mandi House but were stopped at Parliament Street police station, way behind the finishing line - 7, LKM.

 
Sporting almost all the key party faces, including those of its Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and Kejriwal's Cabinet colleagues Kailash Gahlot and Rajendra Pal Gautam, the AAP march lasted for over two hours, with the party spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj claiming a participation of over 45,000 people. 

The march concluded peacefully without any untoward incident amid the AAP workers and leaders lambasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lt Governor Anil Baijal over a host of issues including the demand of full statehood for Delhi and condemnation of IAS officers' "strike." 

Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues are sitting at the office of Lt Governor Anil Baijal demanding his direction to the IAS officers to end their "strike" and approve doorstep ration delivery scheme, since last Monday. 

Here are the highlights:

19:40 pm: In a fresh appeal, Kejriwal urges IAS officers to 'stop boycott of elected government'.

18:40 pm: The Delhi  BJP  accused Arvind Kejriwal of resorting to a "political stunt" in a bid to form an "anti-BJP, anti-Narendra Modi" front in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also said it was "unfortunate" that the chief ministers of four states allowed themselves to be a part of the AAP chief's "drama".

 18:30 pm: 

17:50 pm: Heavy police deployed at sansad marg

17:20 pm: 

17:00 pm: Delhi Police closes Copernicus Marg in view of the protest march

16:30 pm : CPM joins AAP protest at Mandi House

16:05 pm: AAP leaders and workers begin protest march from Mandi House to PM's residence.

16:00 pm: The IAS Officers' Association in a press conference dismissed the reports that they are on strike. During the press conference, it said that the association has been constantly been targetted and false rumours are being spread across the state.

15:40 pm:  The BJP on Sunday slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "creating drama to further his political ambitions" with his sit-in protest at the Lt. Governor's (LG) residence demanding a direction to the IAS officers to end their non-cooperation with his government.

In a letter addressed to Kejriwal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit leaders and rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra said: "You have done everything in your power to shrug off any responsibility that comes with the position you hold, we are writing to you with a hope that you would have your conscience awakened to your moral responsibility... 

"After the incidence of beating up the Chief Secretary (Anshu Prakash), officers have refused to meet you at your residence, while you have been absent from your office."

Referring to problems including bad air quality, water crisis and vector-borne epidemics in the capital, the letter said that Kejriwal's current bid "to shift attention from failure" in the governance has pushed the capital into "a never seen before constitutional crisis". 

15:30 pm: Deputy Speaker of the Delhi Assembly Rakhi Birla said that the situation in Delhi is "worse" than the Emergency. 

AAP leader Atishi Marlena alleged the Delhi Police was working on the instruction of the PMO. 

"Obviously @DelhiPolice is under instructions from @PMOIndia. But they underestimate the power of the common man! Today the people of Delhi are going to show their strength to @PMOIndia! (sic)," she tweeted.

15:22 pm: The AAP leadership alleged that the Delhi Police was trying to stop people from joining the march. 

"Police has got several Metro stations closed down. Barricades have been erected all over Delhi and police is going door to door asking people if they were going for the march. People are being stopped from going for the march," Delhi AAP Chief Gopal Rai said. 
People, who have gathered at the offices and residences of MLAs, are being stopped from moving to Mandi House, alleged AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj. 

15:10 pm: "Those trying to take out the march will be detained since no permission has been sought for it,"said a senior police official. 

A senior Delhi Metro official said entry and exit at the four stations falling in Lutyens' Delhi zone will be closed from 2 PM onwards as per the advice of the Delhi Police. 

No entry and exit will be allowed at the Lok Kalyan Marg Metro station, closest to the PM's residence, from 12 noon onwards, till further orders, the official said. 
However, the interchange facilities will continue at Central Secretariat, he said. 

15:07 pm: Four Metro rail stations - Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan and Lok Kalyan Marg (Race Course) - will be closed to prevent AAP workers and supporters to reach Mandi House, venue of the march scheduled at 4 PM. 

15:00 pm: The Delhi Police said no permission was sought for the protest march, even as AAP leaders alleged that party supporters were being prevented from taking part in the rally. "The call given by the AAP to march towards PM office or residence is without permission. No permission has been applied for. As such the areas under New Delhi district are under prohibitory orders," a senior Delhi Police officer said. 

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