Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal faced separate protests at Delhi and Ludhiana railway stations on Thursday, with the BJP accusing him of failing to take action against a leader allegedly involved in a sex scandal and volunteers of his Aam Aadmi Party blaming him over candidate selection for the upcoming Punjab elections.
On Kejriwal’s home turf of Delhi, activists of the BJP women’s wing shouted slogans and demanded his resignation over a sex clip that purportedly showed sacked minister Sandeep Kumar with two women. A chaos ensued at the platform as the protesters gathered to offer Kejriwal bangles and roses as a mark of the protest.
In Punjab, protesters, including AAP volunteers, shouted slogans after Kejriwal reached Ludhiana for campaigning, alleging that the AAP picked corrupt candidates -- an allegation that can hurt the chances of the party that thrived on anti-graft movement.
“Go back, Kejriwal” slogans rented the air. Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, including Ludhiana SAD president Gurdeep Singh Gosha, were also present at the station and threw bangles at Kejriwal.
Back in Delhi, the AAP alleged that the platform protest was a conspiracy, calling it a “pre-planned” attack on Kejriwal a day after Delhi Police reportedly refused to provide him security in Punjab citing protocol.
The AAP national convener, will be in Punjab for four days, will meet volunteers, workers, including those who are “angry over not getting party tickets”. He is expected to try to get the house in order amid allegations of exploitation of women, which threatens to derail the party that hopes to pose a tough challenge to the ruling SAD-BJP coalition in the 2017 polls.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted: “There was chaos in front of the police while they chose to remain spectators. Is this a rehearsal of a plot on Modi’s orders to attack Kejriwal? There were television cameras before he arrived. It is obvious that it was planned.”
Though his trip was planned in advance, the Delhi Police turned down on Wednesday a request from the CM’s office to send his security personnel by road to Punjab. A senior officer cited rules saying they cannot provide security to a protectee once he leaves the city. Security then is provided by the state he is visiting.
“We had told the CM’s office that Punjab police has already been informed about his visit. It was clearly communicated that his three PSOs would continue to guard him but the whole security unit from his Z-plus detail cannot be sent. We follow this rule even for the home minister,” said a senior police officer.
But after Thursday’s protests, AAP leader Sanjay Singh too accused the Delhi Police of plotting an attack against Kejriwal.
Delhi BJP Mahila Morcha president Kamaljeet Sehrawat said the protest was against AAP leaders and spokesperson Ashutosh for his comments comparing former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Kumar, who has been arrested over the sex CD.
“When we met deputy CM Manish Sisodia, we had told him that if Kejriwal does not expel Ashutosh and other MLAs we would present him with bangles,” Kamaljeet said.
“Today we gheraoed CM Kejriwal because he was trying to run away to Punjab for politics. We asked him to concentrate on promises made to the people of Delhi.”