Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called off the protest march they launched on Sunday afternoon in the heart of the national capital against Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the alleged strike by IAS officers.
According to reports, the AAP, whose supporters were trying to march towards the Prime Ministers’ residence, decided to end their protest for now after Police said they had not obtained permission.
“The call given by the AAP to march towards PM office or residence is without permission. No permission has been applied for. As such the areas under New Delhi district are under prohibitory orders,” said an official of the Delhi Police.
Police deployed force and barricaded areas around the Mandi House metro station preventing the supporters from marching towards Lok Kalyan Marg.
On the other hand, the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) kept five stations closed following the advice of the police. DMRC first closed entry and exit at Lok Kalyan Marg station from 12 noon. The Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk and Janpath stations were also shut from 2 pm. Interchange service was, however, available at the Central Secretariat station.
AAP leader Atishi Marlena alleged the Delhi Police was working on the instruction of the PMO.
“Obviously @DelhiPolice is under instructions from @PMOIndia. But they underestimate the power of the common man! Today the people of Delhi are going to show their strength to @PMOIndia!” she tweeted in the morning just before the protest march.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and supporters of the Communist party had joined the AAP protesters for the march. Yechury on Sunday accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of trying to destabilise non-BJP state governments through the Governors’ offices in the country.
“Joining the protest rally to the Prime Minister’s residence today to express serious condemnation over the manner in which federalism, a fundamental feature of our Constitution, is being undermined by this BJP central government,” Yechury tweeted.
“Governor’s office was used to install BJP governments even after they have lost elections, like in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya. The Governor’s office has been misused in Bihar to allow the BJP to enter the govt via the backdoor after losing assembly elections comprehensively,” he said.
As protestors attempted to make their way to the PM’s residence, the IAS Association held a press conference countering the accusations levelled at them by the Delhi government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“The information that IAS officers in Delhi are on strike is completely false and baseless. We are attending meetings and all departments are doing their works. We are sometimes also working on holidays,” said Manisha Saxena of the Association.
“Let us do our work. We are feeling frightened and victimised. We are being used for completely political reasons,” said Varsha Joshi, another member of the IAS Association.
Kejriwal, deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and Cabinet ministers Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai are camping at Raj Niwas since Monday demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike, among other demands.
The Delhi CM has received support from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Andhra Pradesh CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu all of whom spoke to PM Modi on Sunday requesting his intervention in solving the impasse.
AAP had on 16 June said that Banerjee was scheduled to meet Kejriwal on Saturday evening in the national capital but was denied permission by the L-G. Late on Saturday, all four CMs met Kejriwal’s wife at the Delhi CM’s residence.