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Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, AAP workers clash during Signature Bridge’s inauguration

The Signature Bridge over the Yamuna in northwest Delhi was inaugurated this evening, will be opened to public tomorrow.

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2018 23:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Signature bridge,Signature bridge inauguration,Manoj Tiwari
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari along with his supporters in a scuffle during the inauguration of the Signature Bridge over Yamuna River at Wazirabad in New Delhi on November 4.(PTI Photo)

Delhi’s iconic Signature Bridge became the latest battleground between the AAP and the BJP as their workers clashed ahead of its formal opening today, amid the row over invitations to inaugurations of infrastructure projects in the city.

Ahead of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrival for the ceremony, police intervened to stop a scuffle between Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Delhi president Manoj Tiwari and his supporters and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers who were allegedly trying to stop them from proceeding towards the dais.

“In my constituency (North East Delhi), I re-started construction of the bridge after it was stalled for many years and now Arvind Kejriwal is organising an inauguration ceremony,” Tiwari, who is the local MP, told ANI.

“I was invited to the inauguration event. I am MP from here. So what’s the problem? Am I a criminal? Why has the police surrounded me? I’m here to welcome him (Kejriwal). AAP and police have misbehaved with me,” he added.

Following the scuffle, around 30 BJP workers began a sit-down protest at the site, shouting slogans against Kejriwal and the AAP government. Some men also showed black flags to Kejriwal but Tiwari alleged they could be AAP workers.

Kejriwal, on the other hand, accused the BJP of creating chaos on the occasion.

“Unprecedented. Chaos by BJP at Signature Bridge inauguration site. Its a Del govt prog. Police mute spectator. Can LG, being head of Del police, ensure peace and order at Signature bridge inauguration site?” he said in a tweet as the fracas unfolded.

BJP chief Manoj Tiwari surrounded by the RAF personnel. ( HT Photo )

AAP leader Dilip Pandey told ANI that thousands of people had come to celebrate without an invitation card, but Tiwari “considers himself a VIP”. Accusing him of “hooliganism”, he alleged BJP workers thrashed AAP volunteers and others at the site.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been sparring over credit for the bridge, which had been pending for 15 years.

Earlier too, the AAP government in Delhi and the Centre were involved in controversies over unveiling of projects. The last row had been over the inauguration of city’s first skywalk in the ITO area some weeks ago as the AAP accused the Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri trying to “hijack the work of an elected government” after no one from the Delhi government was invited. In response, Puri accused the Delhi government of non-cooperation and delaying the project deliberately.

Also, in December last year, AAP leaders were miffed after chief minister Kejriwal was not invited to the launch of Delhi Metro’s Magenta line.

First Published: Nov 04, 2018 16:44 IST