The Aam Aadmi Party workers on Wednesday embarked on a protest march from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence to the office of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. All party leaders, including lawmakers and MPs from Delhi, were asked to join the march.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is staging a sit-in inside the office of LG, pressing for three specific demands it has raised for Delhi. The three demands are – direction to IAS officers to end their “strike”, action against those who have struck work for “four months”, approve the proposal for doorstep delivery of rations. Two Delhi ministers – Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, and Satyendar Jain – have started a hunger strike.
Former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, who resigned from the BJP recently, also joined AAP leaders and workers outside the chief minister's Civil Lines residence from where the protest march proceeded to the L-G's office.
Addressing the AAP gathering, Sinha expressed solidarity with Kejriwal and the AAP in their "struggle".
If former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were there, he would have directed the home minister to find a solution to the crisis, but the present dispensation was "sleeping", Sinha said, adding that the entire country was concerned with the situation in Delhi.
"It would be better for the country if a solution to the crisis in Delhi is found at the earliest," the former Union finance minister said.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh threatened to gherao Prime Minister Narendra Modi's house if the matter is not properly resolved till Sunday.
The AAP government's demands to the L-G include a direction to IAS officers to end their "strike", action against those who have struck work for "four months". It has also asked the L-G to approve the proposal for doorstep delivery of rations.
During the protest march, party leaders and workers raised slogans against the lieutenant governor --- "LG sahab, Delhi Chodo (LG, quit Delhi)".
In view of the protest march, police made appropriate security arrangements.
Rajya Sabha MP and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that if the IAS officers give assurance in writing to end their strike and resume work, the AAP will appeal the chief minister and his colleagues to end their sit-in at the L-G office.
He said that the party would take out a candlelight march tomorrow, adding that if the matter was not sorted by Sunday, its leaders and workers would stage a dharna at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
Singh warned that the AAP will resort to a massive agitation if no solution is found to the existing situation.
The IAS officers' association has maintained that no officer is on strike and no work of the Delhi government has been affected.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit mocked the protest march saying that Kejriwal is not at all conscious of his constitutional duties due to which people of Delhi are suffering.
The veteran Congress leader said people of Delhi had given Kejriwal a "huge" majority and he does not have any option of staying away from his responsibilities and inflicting pain and miseries on the common man.
"What message you are giving? It (dharna) makes no sense. People of Delhi are very very disappointed because they brought him with a huge majority. There is not a single Congress MLA in Delhi Assembly. BJP had won only 3 seats. You had sweep and this is how you are misutilising it."
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came in support of the Kejriwal and the protesting leaders. In a tweet she said;"CM of Delhi is sitting in a dharna in LG’s office for the last few days in the capital city of the country. Elected CM must get due respect. May I appeal to the Govt of India and LtGovDelhi to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer."
. @ArvindKejriwal, CM of Delhi is sitting in a dharna in LG’s office for the last few days in the capital city of the country. Elected CM must get due respect. May I appeal to the Govt of India and @LtGovDelhi to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 13, 2018
Launching a counter attack, the state BJP unit held a counter-protest on the issues of water crisis. The Delhi head Manoj Tiwari led the protest march and posted a two-page letter that said that Arvind Kejriwal is diverting the attention from the issues that prevail in the national capital.
दिल्ली में पानी-बिजली के संकट के विरोध में प्रदेश अध्यक्ष @ManojTiwariMP के नेतृत्व में निगम पार्षदों ने विरोध मार्च निकाला। सांसद श्री @p_sahibsingh , दिल्ली भाजपा के महामंत्री भी निगम पार्षदों के मार्च में शामिल हुये। pic.twitter.com/h2n3UtXJmN— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) June 13, 2018