The ongoing-sit in protest by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders intensified on Sunday as the leaders and party workers staged a massive protest from Mandi House to the Prime Minister's Residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.
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.
However, the demonstrators were stopped at the Parliament Street Police Station. 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."
In a tweet during the march, Kejriwal said the people were feeling "hurt and humiliated" and asked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow Delhi government to work.
"Sir, not only Delhi, but the entire country is appealing you - please allow the elected government to work and get these IAS officers strike to end. People are feeling hurt and humiliated," he tweeted.
Expressing solidarity with the AAP, CPI(M) supremo Yechury joined the march at Mandi House and said, "Joining the protest rally to the Prime Minister's residence today to express serious condemnation over the manner in which federalism, a fundamental feature of our Constitution, is being undermined by this BJP Central government."
The other prominent leaders, who participated in the march included Raghav Chadha, Atishi Marlena, Dilip Pandey, besides several party MLAs and a large number of party workers.
The AAP took out the protest march amid the police maintaining that no permission was sought for the march and warning protestors of detaining them for breaching prohibitory orders clamped in New Delhi district.
AAP spokesperson Bhardwaj claimed participation of over 45000 people in the march despite police bid to foil it.
"Despite sinister efforts by Delhi Police like closing of Metro stations, seizing of buses and heavy barricading, a total of 538 buses reached the spot. A crowd of over 45,000 people reminds me of 2011-12 movement in Delhi," said Bhardwaj.
"The then Congress government too had tried to stop us. The Modi government is trying to do it now. It shows the government is 'scared' of AAP," he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also claimed that people came on streets despite police stopping the buses and guarding offices of the party MLAs.
"Despite all the attempts of Modi government - stopping of buses and guarding of MLAs offices - people took to street. This reminds of 2011 movement, the same spirit and passion," he tweeted.
The protest march began around 4.45 pm and reached the Parliament Street police station around 6 PM when it was stopped at a barricade erected by the police.
A large number of policemen were deployed at Mandi House and along the route of the march to handle any untoward situation.
Earlier in the day, 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.
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.
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