Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his three Cabinet colleagues continued their sit-in protest at Lt Governor’s office for the third day on Thursday despite falling sugar levels of fasting ministers and allegations of bringing the government work to a standstill.
Hundreds of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers also marched up to Raj Ghat to express support for their leaders. They were joined by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat to express solidarity with Kejriwal and his ministers against “the LG who has been creating hurdles in Delhi’s development”.
Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, has been camping in the Raj Niwas — the official accommodation-cum-office of Lt Governor (LG) — since Monday evening.
They have been demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike, action against officers who have struck work for “four months” and approval to his government’s proposal for doorstep delivery of ration to the poor.
On Thursday, Kejriwal in a letter sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to end the “strike” by the IAS officers, as there has been no communication from Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s office.
As the ministers prepared to spend the fourth night at the LG house, the sugar levels of Sisodia and Jain were down to 50 units (mg/dL), nearly half the normal, on Thursday evening. Jain started the hunger strike on Tuesday while Sisodia joined him on Wednesday.
In social media, the AAP has launched a campaign #ModijiForgiveDelhi. Party members posted videos requesting Modi to let the elected government work by instructing the IAS officers to join back work.
While the four are camping in the office of LG, Baijal has been working from his home ever since the start of sit-in protest, according to sources.
More and more political leaders and parties are coming forward to express their support to the sit-in, with former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan and Shatrughan Sinha, and parties like the CPI and the CPI(M) being latest to join the list.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a tweet, saying that the people of Delhi have been rejecting the BJP for past 20 years, so the latter is taking “revenge”.
Kejriwal’s protest has already been backed by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and RJD MP Manoj Jha, along with former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha.
Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal on Thursday accused the security of LG Anil Baijal of not letting her see her husband. She visited the LG office with Kejriwal’s mother and wives of Sisodia and Jain.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh wondered whether Kejriwal has been arrested, as nobody is being allowed to meet him.
“I don’t understand why nobody is being allowed to meet Kejriwal. Has he been arrested inside the LG house’ I, being an MP, want to meet him but was not allowed. Even the LG is not ready to meet me. I have been seeking his time for the last 3 days.
“Yashwant Sinhaji was not allowed to meet. Kejriwal’s brother was also not allowed to meet. The LG and the police should tell us if Kejriwal is arrested, and if not why people are not being allowed to see him,” said Singh speaking to the media.
Tight security is in place outside the Raj Niwas, with paramilitary and police personnel deployed in a 2-km radius of the LG’s office, since Monday evening.