TT Epaper
The Telegraph
Graphiti
 
CIMA Gallary

Arvind halted at Modi door

Ahmedabad, March 7: Gujarat police today blocked a key road leading to Gandhinagar to stop Arvind Kejriwal, who planned to meet Narendra Modi without an appointment and grill him about his development claims.

The police set up a barricade and held up all traffic soon after Kejriwal told a news conference in Ahmedabad around 11am that he had drawn up a 16-point questionnaire for Modi.

“Many of your (Modi’s) development claims are white lies,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief told journalists on Day 3 of his four-day tour of Gujarat to verify Modi’s claims.

He spelt out some of the questions he would ask — on the lack of schools and health centres in the villages, on farmer suicides, on land being given to industry at throwaway prices….

The barricades were up 15 minutes before Kejriwal’s convoy, escorted by Ahmedabad police and trailed by media vehicles, reached the spot on Gandhinagar’s outskirts, several kilometres from the chief minister’s office (CMO).

By then, a long queue of cars had formed. The Gandhinagar police isolated Kejriwal’s motorcade and let the other cars through.

Do you have an appointment with Modi, the AAP leader was asked. He said he didn’t but had come “as a common man” to meet Modi.

“If he’s busy, I have no issues. I can to come to see him whenever he is available,” Kejriwal told the police.

Officers escorted his aide Manish Sisodia to meet CMO officials to seek an appointment while Kejriwal waited on the road for about an hour. Sisodia was apparently told that Modi couldn’t meet Kejriwal today and that the AAP chief must write a letter seeking an appointment first.

“I have been told Modi has no time to meet me (today),” Kejriwal told the media. He had earlier told the news conference that he had previously written a letter to Modi but had not received a reply.

“We’ll try to meet him today,” he added, citing a few of the questions he had in mind:

What have you done to rid the state of corruption?

If you have solved the unemployment problem, how come 13 lakh youths applied for 1,500 posts of talatis (junior revenue officials)?

Why have four lakh farmers been waiting for power connection for the past 10 years?

Why have 800-odd farmers committed suicide under your rule?

The issues are likely to figure in the AAP manifesto. Kejriwal will address a public meeting tomorrow evening in Ahmedabad.