A large number of BJP workers clashed with the Delhi Police on Sunday when they tried to march towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 7 Race Course Road residence demanding his resignation for “his dubious role in an unending series of scams, the recent being Railgate and Coalgate”.
Defying prohibitory orders imposed in the New Delhi district, the protesters, led by Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief Anurag Thakur, broke the barricades and tried to march towards the PM’s residence. Holding placards which read “Manmohan Singh sharm karo/Desh par raham karo”, the protesters shouted slogans against the Congress-led UPA Government and the PM to highlight the “loot-and-scoot policy of the Government”.
Earlier in the day while addressing the protesters who gathered at Aurangzeb Road, Mr. Goel alleged that the Prime Minister was “guilty” of acts of omission and commission. He said the BJP will organise a ‘shameless week’ to highlight the Government’s shamelessness and corruption.
“The PM headed the Coal Ministry when the scam took place. He tried to protect Ashwini Kumar, the former Law Minister whose role in tampering the ‘Coalgate’ investigation reports is clearly under the scanner. He also tried to protect former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal under whose nose his close relatives were ‘auctioning’ posts in the Ministry,” Mr. Goel charged.
There was also a lot of drama during the protest, as protesters also took out a “shav yatra” (funeral procession) of the Central Government and carried with them a replica of a jail cell showing “corrupt Union Ministers behind bars”. They also brought with them goats, symbolising Ashwini Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal, with “Don’t make me the scapegoat, bring forward the main culprit” written on them.
Mr. Thakur argued that the UPA has lost the confidence of the nation. “Everyday a new Minister gets tainted in a new scam and there are attempts at the highest level to scuttle the probe. This Government, which has lost the confidence of the people, should go and all these scams must be probed properly.”
The protesters also burnt an effigy of the Prime Minister at Aurangzeb Road before starting the march. However, they were prevented from moving further near Tughlaq Road police station. The police personnel, which were deployed in large numbers in and around the area, also lobbed tear gas shells and used water canons to disperse the protesters.
A large number of protesters, including Mr. Goel and Mr. Thakur, were detained and taken to Tughlaq Road police station from where they were later released. “We strongly demand proper investigation into the scams and corruption cases against the Congress and its Ministers. We also demand the PM’s resignation,” Mr. Thakur told reporters as he was being taken away by the police.
Anticipating protests and to prevent the BJP workers from reaching the area in large numbers, the Race Course Road metro station was closed to public for around three hours. According to a Delhi Metro official, the Race Course metro station was reopened at 1.51 p.m.