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AAP vs L-G Turns Into Show of Unity as 4 CMs Ask PM Modi to Intervene in Delhi Crisis; BJP Cries Foul

A day before attending the Niti Aayog meet in New Delhi, Banerjee, Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy landed in New Delhi and met at Andhra Bhawan before heading to Kejriwal's residence.


Updated:June 16, 2018, 11:56 PM IST
AAP vs L-G Turns Into Show of Unity as 4 CMs Ask PM Modi to Intervene in Delhi Crisis; BJP Cries Foul
The four chief ministers at Kejriwal's residence on Saturday night.
New Delhi: As Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s dharna against L-G Anil Baijal entered the sixth day on Saturday, he found much-needed support in the chief ministers of four non-BJP states, who said in unison that the work of an elected government should not be stalled for four months.

In a major show of unity, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee joined hands with Left leader and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan along with Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu and Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy to back up Kejriwal in his dharna.

Criticising the move, the BJP questioned why these leaders did not object to the assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash.

The group had sought a meeting with Kejriwal who is holed up at the L-G House since Monday and wrote a letter to the L-G. After Banerjee was denied a one-on-one meeting with Kejriwal, the four leaders went to meet his wife Sunita Kejriwal.

The letter addressed to Baijal, signed by Banerjee, Naidu, Vijayan and Kumaraswamy, sought a meeting with Kejriwal at 9 pm on Saturday, however, this was also not allowed by the L-G. Banerjee has said that she will meet Prime Minister Modi on Sunday and raise her concerns on the situation in Delhi.

In a joint statement soon after meeting Sunita Kejriwal, the four chief ministers said the Prime Minister must intervene and solve the situation immediately.

Banerjee attacked the L-G and said, "This is a Constitutional crisis. But there should never be such a crisis due to which a government and the common people have to suffer. There are two crore people in Delhi. The work has been disrupted since 4 months. There can be nothing more unfortunate than this. L-G is the appointed leader, if not he then to who will one to go to seek time and talk?"

Naidu said, “We have come to express support towards a democratically elected government. A government must be allowed to function. The L-G denies us permission to meet him. L-G is out. We have to sort out this issue immediately.”

Getting a major boost from four tall leaders of regional politics, Kejriwal tweeted: "I don’t think Hon’ble LG can take such a decision on his own. Obviously, PMO has directed him to refuse permission. Just like IAS strike is being done at PMO’s instance."

He added in another tweet: "We live in a democracy. Can PM deny Hon’ble CMs of other states to meet CM of another state? Raj Niwas is noone’s personal property. It belongs to the people of India (sic)."

He later thanked the four chief ministers in another tweet.

Soon after the four leaders' press conference, DMK leader MK Stalin, too, voiced his concerns over the standoff between Kejriwal and L-G Baijal. He wrote in a tweet: "I am concerned with the disdain shown by Lt. Gov. of Delhi towards an elected Chief Minister like @ArvindKejriwal. The BJP is proactively destroying the federal structure of this nation. I express my solidarity with the Chief Ministers who are standing up for States' rights."

Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel said the four leaders "are in the national capital to attend the NITI Aayog meeting and not to do politics. It doesn't suit them".

"Where were they when Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was assaulted at Kejriwal's residence in his presence? And what will happen if the chief secretaries of their states also come out in support of Prakash," Goel said.

A day before attending the NITI Aayog meet in New Delhi, the four chief ministers landed in New Delhi and held a meeting at the Andhra Bhawan on Saturday evening and later met Sunita Kejriwal at the CM’s residence.

CM Kejriwal, along with three of his cabinet ministers, have been lodged at the Delhi Raj Niwas since Monday evening seeking L-G’s intervention in the alleged IAS officers’ strike in Delhi.

The Delhi chief minister had earlier found support in a host of other politicians, including RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan and JMM chief Hemant Soren.

Interestingly, even as JD(S) boss HD Kumaraswamy, who is a Congress ally in Karnataka, is backing up Kejriwal in his unique protest, Congress has continued to vehemently oppose Kejriwal's dharna.

Kejriwal on Saturday alleged that there is de facto President's rule in Delhi because of what the AAP government describes as an ongoing IAS officers' strike.

HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in in May provided the biggest platform for regional parties to come together where several political heavyweights, including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, BSP chief Mayawati and arch-rival Akhilesh Yadav, all came together to share the same stage.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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