New Delhi: Four non-BJP chief ministers — West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy — expressed solidarity with their Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal.
The four heads of their states visited Kejriwal’s home on Saturday and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention on issues over which he is on a sit-in at Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal's office.
The four CMs also wrote to Baijal, seeking an appointment with him.
Kejriwal and three Cabinet colleagues have been staying put in a waiting room at Raj Niwas, protesting against what they call is a strike by the bureaucrats in the national capital.
During a joint press conference after meeting Kejriwal's family members, Banerjee said, “This is a constitutional crisis. But there never should have been one, wherein a government elected by popular vote or the common people have to suffer. There are about two crore people in Delhi and all work in the capital has been disrupted since the last four months, there can be nothing more unfortunate than this. L-G is an appointed leader, if not he then to whom will one to go to seek time and talk?”
The Bengal CM further said that she wanted to meet Kejriwal but was told verbally that the permission would not be granted. “It wasn’t even a written reply to my letter. We four then wrote to the L-G for an appointment but were told he is not there. We waited for a long time but we were not allowed. During Sunday’s NITI Aayog meeting, we will tell the PM to intervene and solve this matter. Had the President been here, we would have told him too. This is a democracy and that is how a democracy functions,” she said.
Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu also stated that he was hoping that the impasse would be broken. "We came here to express our support to the Delhi CM. The L-G has to allow this government to function. Mamata Ji had asked permission from the L-G to meet the CM to which there was no response. The Centre and L-G should not create problems for states," he said.
Karnataka's newly elected CM HD Kumaraswamy said that he was here to "save the democratic system of the country" and that they were all backing Kejriwal. "We are expressing solidarity with the Delhi CM. We demand the PM's intervention in the issues. He has to solve this problem," he said.
Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) leader and Kerala CM, also chose to target the central BJP government for the crisis in the capital. "This has happened because of the Centre's attitude. The centre is restricting the federal system, which is a threat to the nation. Everyone is with Kejriwal. All democratic people are with him," he said.
The man at the centre of the storm, Arvind Kejriwal, took to Twitter to thank the CMs for making efforts to meet him. "The people of Delhi will ever be grateful to you sirs N Chandrababu Naidu, Pinarayi Vijayan, HD Kumaraswamy and Mamata Banerjee didi. We all will work together to save democracy. Thank u so much," he tweeted.