The BJP legislators sitting on a ‘dharna’ at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office at the Delhi Secretariat today converted their protest into a hunger strike to pressure the government in providing relief to the people hit by water shortage. The Delhi unit BJP leaders – Vijender Gupta, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Jagdish Pradhan and Parvesh Verma – and rebel Aam Aadmi Party MLA Kapil Mishra also wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention to end the five-day-old sit-in of Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office. The BJP legislators and Mishra had launched the ‘dharna’ at Kejriwal’s office on Wednesday, two days after Kejriwal and his party members began their protest at Baijal’s office.
Barring Pradhan, Mishra and the BJP leaders announced that they would remain on the hunger strike indefinitely. “Our hunger strike will continue till Chief Minister Kejriwal and his ministers resume work and provide water to the people,” Gupta said. In the letter to the president, they alleged that Kejriwal and his colleagues were “sitting” at the L-G office while people were “braving a water crisis” and dust pollution.
Demanding that Baijal direct IAS officers to end their “strike” and approve the Delhi government’s doorstep ration delivery scheme, Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai sat on the dharna on Monday evening. The BJP said the AAP’s dharna is a “publicity stunt”. “People are struggling for water and there is the worst kind of dust pollution. Instead of addressing these concerns, the CM has chosen this publicity stunt,” they wrote to the president. Mishra, who was removed by Kejriwal from his cabinet last year, asserted that their hunger strike will go on till the chief minister resumes work.
“Resolved to force the chief minister, who cheated Delhi and ran away from his responsibility, to resume work,” he tweeted. Sirsa today filed a complaint at IP Estate police station against Delhi government minister Imran Hussain and AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, a day after Hussain alleged that Sirsa and his men tried to assault him at the Delhi Secretariat. Singh had reiterated the charge.