To get a feel of the common man’s most common Mumbai experience, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal travelled from Andheri to Churchgate in a packed second class compartment on Wednesday, during his visit to the city.
Kejriwal’s symbolic journey, however, caused all sorts of problems for regular commuters, with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters and policemen guarding the leader and preventing Mumbaiites from boarding the coach he was on.
To begin with, AAP organisers first stationed themselves opposite the luggage compartment. As the train arrived, there was some and confusion they finally chose another coach for Kejriwal. A struggle to get in ensued, forcing the train to delay its departure by at least 10 minutes.
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As the train left Andheri, Kejriwal took a window seat. “He hardly talked during the journey. He preferred looking out of the window,” said AAP Lok Sabha candidate Mayank Gandhi.
However, several criticised the exercise. “The AAP needs to be sensitive to commuters. This disrupted the city’s routine,” said RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi.
The chaos followed Kejriwal to Churchgate station. Commuters were brushed aside while Kejriwal alighted.
And as the crowd surged, a metal detector at the station fell over and got damaged. Kejriwal changed his exit point to prevent another mishap, but already there was talk of an ulterior motive behind the incident. Home minister RR Patil said there was a law that allowed for the recovery of money for loss of public property. “We will assess whether the damage done was accidental or purposeful, and take action accordingly,” he said.
Kejriwal's day out to woo Mumbaikars
However, Gandhi tweeted, “There were many supporting commuters, volunteers, media and cops. In the surge to see Arvind, someone may have pushed the metal detector.
As he left, some youngsters showed him black flags, over his words against the media in the video leak issue.
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