Now five chief ministers against Delhi L-G; Arvind Kejriwal find support from east and south

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New Delhi | Published: June 17, 2018 11:11:14 AM

The support comes a day before the NITI Aayog meeting Sunday, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair and the CMs said they would speak to Modi during tea at the Aayog meeting and ask for the issue to be solved.

The CMs met Kejriwal’s wife and several other AAP leaders at the Delhi chief minister’s home.

The protest by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his three ministers at Delhi Raj Bhavan has turned out to be a more than a usual political development. Kejriwal has found support from four chief ministers, which is seen as a major boost for the protest. The latest tussle between L-G and CM has gone inside the L-G house with AAP alleging Anil Baijal of not giving time for the meeting.

The support to Arvind Kejriwal by the four regional heavyweights – from Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) – comes amid opposition efforts to project a united front against BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Reportedly, the chief ministers went to Kejriwal’s home after they were ‘denied’ permission by Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal to meet the Delhi CM at Raj Niwas, where he is on a dharna. AAP workers raised slogans against the L-G when the CMs reached Kejriwal’s house.

At the press conference at Kejriwal’s residence, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh’s N Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka’s H D Kumaraswamy and Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan asked the Centre to resolve the “crisis” immediately. Naidu said, “the demand is clear – they have to sort out the issue immediately and allow the elected government to function smoothly. Should the Centre or L-G create problems for the elected government, then governance will be a problem.” Naidu is a former BJP ally who left its partner over the Andhra special state issue.

Kumaraswamy, who recently became Karnataka CM, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express, “We came to support the Delhi CM, save the democratic system. We demand that the PM should interfere in the issue and take steps to solve the problem. The Central government must immediately resolve the problem.”

The CMs met Kejriwal’s wife and several other AAP leaders at the Delhi chief minister’s home. Kerala CM Vijayan said, “The attitude of the Centre is why this has happened. Our central government is destroying the federal system. That is the main threat.”

“I wanted to meet the Delhi chief minister but I was told, verbally, that permission will not be granted. Then four of us wrote to the LG for an appointment, but we were told that he is not there. We were not allowed,” Banerjee told PTI.

The support comes a day before the NITI Aayog meeting Sunday, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair and the CMs said they would speak to Modi during tea at the Aayog meeting and ask for the issue to be solved.

However, a clear divide in the opposition can be witnessed on the issue, as the press conference in support of Kejriwal by the four chief ministers came a day after the former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken attacked Kejriwal for his protest.

Meanwhile, AAP workers and leaders will march to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office from Mandi House over the issue of IAS ‘strike’, which they claim has been on since the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at the Chief Minister’s house. Delhi government has from time to time alleged the interference of the Centre to stall the functioning of Delhi administration through the office of L-G.

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