AAP legislators forced to leave L-G's office after meeting; MLA Somnath Bharti says 'ashamed' of use of force

AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said the Delhi lieutenant governor brought in heavy police to have them escorted from his office instead of speaking to them for two minutes.

FP Staff June 19, 2018 16:25:57 IST
AAP legislators forced to leave L-G's office after meeting; MLA Somnath Bharti says 'ashamed' of use of force

Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Tuesday refused to leave Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal's office after attending a meeting on the Delhi Master Plan. An official release, issued by the L-G office, said that two AAP MLAs who attended the meeting refused to leave the office — mimicking their chief minister — and left after much pursuance, Firstpost reporter informed.

AAP legislators forced to leave LGs office after meeting MLA Somnath Bharti says ashamed of use of force

File image of AAP leader Sanjay Singh with party leaders and workers during a protest in Delhi. PTI

The release said: "The meeting ended, two Hon’ble MLAs Somnath Bharti and PS Bagga, who came to attend the meeting, refused to leave the residential premises of Hon'ble Lieutenant-Governor on the pretext of joining the 'dharna' of Hon’ble CM. Hon'ble MLAs were repeatedly requested to end their unauthorised occupation of the residential premises of Hon'ble Lieutenant-Governor. However, they refused to leave and continued their unauthorised occupation for about two hours and left only after considerable persuasion."

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues have been holding a sit-in protest at the lieutenant-governor's office since 11 June, demanding that Baijal order IAS officers to end their "strike" and approve the government's doorstep ration delivery scheme.

Bharti took to Twitter to criticise Baijal for his use of force. He said he was "ashamed" that the lieutenant-governor would use "heavy police" to escort them out of their office, instead of "hearing us out" for two minutes. "Possibly the most potent democratic tool, namely dialogue, has no place in the Modi era," he tweeted.

Bharti said that along with Bagga, AAP's Krishna Nagar MLA, he was waiting in the conference room of L-G office after furnishing a letter seeking the appointment with Baijal. He said that he wanted to meet the L-G for the "deadlock" in Delhi but was asked to move out and later "ousted" with the help of police. However, a senior police officer said that Bharti and Bagga did not have an appointment to meet Baijal and were asked to leave.

"We checked with the control room of the L-G office whether the MLAs had any appointment with the L-G but they said that there was no meeting fixed. The MLAs were asked to leave and no police force used to oust them," he added. Meanwhile, the Raj Niwas in a statement said the Lieutenant Governor chaired the DDA meeting to consider the public suggestions and comments which were sought on the issue of the proposed amendments in the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021.

On Tuesday, IAS officers said they were waiting for a formal communication from Kejriwal for a meeting at the secretariat to end the impasse between IAS officers and the Delhi government, which began after the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash in February. Their statement comes a day after Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia requested the lieutenant-governor to hold a meeting with the government and bureaucrats to end the ongoing deadlock.

Meanwhile, Sisodia, who was admitted to hospital after his health deteriorated because of his hunger strike at the L-G's office, resumed work on Tuesday after being discharged. Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, too, is expected to resume work on Tuesday. He was admitted to hospital a day before Sisodia, also because of his hunger strike. The two ministers had been part of Kejriwal's dharna at the L-G's office.

With inputs from PTI and Kangkan Acharyya.

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