As Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's week-long protest at Lieutenant General Anil Baijal's office entered the eighth day on Monday, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted about it blaming both, Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the ongoing standoff. Rahul said that while the Delhi chief minister is busy "sitting in Dharna at the L-G office" and "Delhi bureaucrats addressing press conferences", Modi has turned a "blind eye" to the ongoing state of anarchy in Delhi but the sufferers in the end are people of Delhi.
Delhi CM, sitting in Dharna at LG office.
BJP sitting in Dharna at CM residence.
Delhi bureaucrats addressing press conferences.
PM turns a blind eye to the anarchy; rather nudges chaos & disorder.
People of Delhi are the victims, as this drama plays out.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 18, 2018
This is the first time that Rahul has publicly spoken about the week-long sit-in. Congress has been a critic of the Aam Aadmi Party since its decimation in the 2015 Assembly elections. Senior Congress leaders also said the stalemate in Delhi is "extremely unfortunate" while maintaining that Opposition unity was important to safeguard the idea of India and "all right thinking, progressive and pluralistic forces must come together". On non-BJP chief ministers supporting Kejriwal's cause, the party said there was still time for the 2019 Lok Sabha election and they were observing the situation.
"What is happening in Delhi is extremely unfortunate. It is an evolving situation. We are observing the situation very carefully," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari. "I would like to underscore that the basis of Opposition unity is the larger cause of safeguarding and furthering the idea of India, and for that it is important, it is the demand of time that all right thinking progressive and pluralistic forces must come together... There is still time for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections," he added.
Four non-BJP chief ministers met Modi on Sunday at the meeting of the NITI Aayog's fourth general council meeting and urged him to immediately resolve the problems of the Delhi government.
The Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (United), both BJP allies, came out in support of Kejriwal. The Samajwadi Party backed the AAP against the central government. But Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed both Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the stalemate.
The AAP plans to start a campaign from Tuesday to reach out to at least 10 lakh households in Delhi.
Kejriwal and three of his ministers — Sisodia, Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai — began their strike at Raj Niwas on 11 June demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike, and urged the Centre to approve the Delhi government's proposal to deliver ration to the poor at their houses.
Jain, who was also on indefinite hunger strike since 12 June, was moved to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital on Sunday night. This has left Kejriwal and Rai at the office-cum-residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Meanwhile, in the first sign of apparent rapprochement, IAS officers in Delhi on Monday said they were open to formal discussions to end the impasse in Delhi, a day after Kejriwal assured them their safety and dignity.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 08:18 AM