New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI): Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal persisted with his dharna against the Union government in the heart of the capital, forcing thousands of officegoers to take long walks as Delhi Metro shut down four key stations and buses were diverted.
The stations at Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhavan and Race Course remained closed from 6am after a late night direction from the Delhi Police to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Even the interchange at Central Secretariat was closed. Trains on Line 6 coming from Badarpur to Central Secretariat terminated at Khan Market Metro station. This arrangement will be in place till further directions, a DMRC official said.
Those who use the Metro to reach their offices in the Central Secretariat area (Shastri Bhavan, Rail Bhavan, Parliament, North and South Block) were worst hit because of this.
To add to their woes, DTC buses were diverted forcing office goers to walk long distances.
”We alighted at the Khan Market Station and walked for about four kilometres. There were many who people who found it difficult to make it to office,” said a senior government official working in the North Block.
Kejriwal blamed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for the hardship being faced by the people.
“Shinde has closed the Metro stations. I had told Metro officials to run the service. They said they cannot do it as Delhi Police has closed them. Shinde is causing inconvenience not only to us but also to the general public. He has closed the Metro stations,” he said.
On Monday, the four Metro stations were closed from 9am onwards, but Patel Chowk and Race Course Rd were reopened in the afternoon.
Kejriwal, meanwhile, had to duck into the shelter of his car as Delhi’s skies opened up on Tuesday morning. Kejriwal’s wife and minister Manish Sisodia also piled in.
On Monday night, Kejriwal slept on the road under the open sky while some of his supporters spent the night singing and raising slogans around a bonfire.
Some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers were seen covering themselves with huge vinyl party posters to protect themselves from the rain.
The Rajpath and its adjoining areas offered an interesting spectacle with Republic Day preparations in full swing in one corner while the other corner was brimming with supporters of AAP who were sitting on a dharna outside Rail Bhavan.
Though there was a small crowd in the morning as compared to what it was last evening, AAP supporters started thronging the venue gradually and raised slogans against Delhi Police and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Kejriwal along with his ministers, party MLAs and supporters is sitting on a dharna since Monday demanding action against policemen who refused to carry out a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi.