Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal has not been given permission to hold a public rally in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district, days before the event. The CM was expected to address a rally on January 12, after paying homage to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s mother Jijamata memorial on her birth anniversary. Refusing to grant permission, Buldhana Police said it would not be able to make proper security arrangements for the rally. On the other hand, AAP leaders have claimed that they were denied permission at the ‘last minute’.
“Since December 17, we had been in touch with local police over the proposed rally. The venue and other details were finalised only after consulting them. The last moment denial of permission is unexpected,” Senior party leader Preeti Sharma-Menon was quoted as saying by Indian Express. The event was AAP’s effort to relaunch itself in the state, with a number of prominent leaders expected to join the party at the event.
The Delhi CM’s visit to the state was seen as an effort to boost rale of the party worker. The rally on January 12 was scheduled to mark the emergence of the party from the shadows, a party leader said. She further said that the party leader would pay his respects to Jijamata “with or without police permission” on January 12. “Police have asked us to change the venue, but we told them that’s not logistically feasible for us. Unlike other parties, we have limited resources and our volunteers may not be able to make it to the other venue at the drop of a hat,” the paper quoted her as saying further.
Since its win in 2013 Delhi Assembly polls, the party received its support from the number of groups in Maharashtra, and well-known activists like Medha Patkar had joined AAP. She was among AAP leaders who contested the 2014 general elections from the state, but the party was not to win any seat in the state.After failing to get any seat from the state, the state unit of the party decided to focus on building its base in Maharashtra. Even after facing a number of setbacks, the party decided to strengthen its grassroots network.
In last few year, the party has taken up a number state issues. AAP leaders like Sharma-Menon and others claimed to have “unearthed” a number scams. They also accused senior BJP and Shiv Sena leaders of being involved in them.