Kejriwal promises to reconvene ‘Janata Durbar’in 3-4 days

The Aam Aadmi Party government’s first ‘Janata Durbar’ descended into chaos on Saturday as thousands of people turned up at the Delhi Secretariat with their grievances.

As the teeming crowd pushed and jostled to catch Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s attention, he left the venue to “avoid a stampede.”

Mr. Kejriwal reappeared after a short while, this time on the boundary wall of the Delhi Secretariat building.

He apologised to the crowd for the “lapses in the arrangements” and promised to meet them again within 3-4 days “in a stadium or some where larger.”

Talking to reporters later in the afternoon, Mr. Kejriwal said: “We were expecting 600 to 700 people but over 6,000 to 7,000 people landed up.”

“The huge turnout shows the enormity of the problems people are facing and the high expectations and faith the people have in the AAP government,” he said.

“Many people had come just to meet me. As the crowds grew larger I climbed on to a high parapet but people jumped on it and pushed me down,” he said while denying that he had been tipped off by intelligence agencies about the chaos.

On the Opposition parties’ charge that he was in a “hurry,” the Chief Minister said: “Yes, we are in a hurry. If we do not hurry the country will be doomed.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party described the ‘janata durbar’ as a “political stunt.” Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel said Mr. Kejriwal had “humiliated a large number of people as not even a single complaint was tackled.”

Congress Legislature Party leader Haroon Yusuf said the AAP Government should realise that governance is different from agitation. “They should work practically. If you are inviting people for a government function, you have to make adequate arrangements. You can’t say that you did not expect such a crowd,” Mr. Yusuf said.

(With additional reporting by Vishal Kant & Sowmiya Ashok)

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