Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan a sea of protest, slogans in the air | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan a sea of protest, slogans in the air

Apr 01, 2024 05:40 AM IST

Protesters poured in from different corners of the country, including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra, to attend the rally

Thousands of volunteers and supports from a myriad of opposition parties gathered at Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi in a show of support for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with alleged irregularities in the Capital’s excise policy 2021-22, and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, arrested in a money laundering case pertaining to an alleged land scam.

Supporters of Arvind Kejriwal at Ramlila Maidan. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Supporters of Arvind Kejriwal at Ramlila Maidan. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)

The protesters demanded that the two leaders be released, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government of “disrupting” the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and of being “dictators”.

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Members and supporters of various opposition parties, including the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Congress, the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC), and the National Conference started gathering at the venue at around 9 am, raising slogans such as “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Hum Sab Kejriwal”, and holding up props to show their party affiliation.

Jaswant Singh, an AAP party worker from Ludhiana, said, “We have come with 30-40 people from our village. We will all keep protesting against the arrest of Kejriwal. I also want Soren ji to be released.”

Singh and his friends sat near the music system where AAP members from Delhi and Punjab sang Punjabi songs, calling ED “cheaters” for arresting Kejriwal.

Jawahar Lal, who came dressed as Lord Ram, said, “I was a BJP member and even contested elections from Sohna in 2009. But now, I support Congress and stand with AAP in these difficult times.”

A senior Delhi Police officer said more than 10,000 people visited the ground during the rally. To maintain law and order, over 1,500 police personnel and CRPF staff were deployed at the ground. The Delhi Police also restricted people’s movement near Chandni Chowk, Pragati Maidan, ITO, and Connaught Place. This affected the traffic movement slightly between 11 am and 2.30 pm.

Meanwhile, the BJP claimed that the rally was a “flop show”.

“The Ramlila Maidan rally was a flop show, with 61 AAP MLAs failing to gather even 6,100 people for the event. Failure of today’s rally has marked the beginning of the end of AAP in Delhi,” Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva said.

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