Massive protest by AAP in Delhi, CPI-M extends support

New Delhi: Delhi’s ruling AAP on Sunday took out a massive protest amid its standoff with the Lt Governor and IAS officers, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal completed a week of his sit-in at LG office.

Waving national and party flags and shouting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “autocratic behaviour”, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members, along with Communist Party of India-Marxist activists, marched from Mandi House metro station at 4 p.m. towards the Prime Minister’s residence, but were stopped by police at the Parliament Street police station.

The protest was held over several issues including the on-going standoff with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, no-cooperation of the bureaucracy and demand of full statehood for Delhi. According to the Delhi government, IAS officers had not been working since several months, due to which it could not function properly.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury joined the protest to express solidarity with AAP and Kejriwal.

Senior AAP leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Atishi Marlena, Delhi Ministers Kailash Gahlot and Rajendra Pal Gautam, Dilip Pandey, several party MLAs and a large number of party volunteers participated in the march that lasted for over two hours.

Claiming that over 4,500 people joined the protest, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said that people turned up in large number despite police’s attempts to ensured that the protesters could not reach Mandi House.

“In spite of similar efforts by Delhi Police,closing Metro stations,seizing buses, heavy barricading, 538 buses could reach the spot. A crowd of over 4,500 people reminds me of 2011-12 movement in Delhi,” je said.

Earlier the police said that no permission was sought for the protest and warned to detain the agitators. A large number of police personnel were deployed near Prime Minister’s house as a precautionary measure.

“Protesters have been told not to move ahead. They are listening to us,” said DCP, New Delhi, Madhur Verma.

Around 6 p.m. the AAP workers and Left groups peacefully stopped their protest after reaching the Parliament Street police station.

Demonstrators said they will start a signature petition aiming to reach out to at least 10 lakh people, get their petition signed and send it to Modi.

As the protesters rallied in mass at the metro stations and streets, it also caused traffic snarls in central Delhi.

Later Kejriwal, in a tweet said that people of Delhi were feeling “hurt and humiliated” and asked Modi to allow Delhi government to work.