BJP and AAP flex muscles in Delhi
New Delhi: Delhi witnessed high drama on Wednesday with both the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Opposition BJP playing one-upmanship over protest politics.
While chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his three cabinet colleagues continued their indefinite sit-in at lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal's office and the AAP organised a March4Democracy on Wednesday, the BJP staged a counter by mimicking the AAP with a demonstration at the chief minister's office.
Led by leader of the Opposition Bijendra Gupta, BJP leaders sat on a dharna in the waiting room of the chief minister's office to demand that Kejriwal end his "protest drama" at the LG's office and return to work immediately.
They alleged that Delhi was facing a water crisis and the chief minister was running away.
The sit-in by the AAP at the LG's office since Monday evening is to protest what the party claims is a "strike" by IAS officers. The officers have denied a strike and said they are not attending meetings with ministers.
The AAP has accused the BJP-led Centre of crippling the Kejriwal government by using the LG, who enjoys exclusive administrative rights since Delhi doesn't have full statehood.
As the BJP tried to fight the AAP fire with fire, Kejriwal's party's wider demand for grant of full statehood to Delhi received support from Opposition parties.
Former finance minister and dissident BJP leader Yashwant Sinha participated in the March4Democracy by AAP legislators and workers.
Opposition parties like the Trinamul Congress, CPM and the RJD came out in support of Kejriwal and slammed the Centre.
The Congress, however, appeared to be on the same page with the BJP on this issue, slamming Kejriwal for "making a mockery of democracy".
"@ArvindKejriwal, CM of Delhi, is sitting in a dharna in LG's office for the last few days in the capital city of the country. Elected CM must get due respect. May I appeal to the Govt of India and @LtGovDelhi to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer," Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
Addressing AAP workers, Sinha targeted the Modi government. He said the LG was a bureaucrat and was only following the "instructions of the Centre".