Taking on Narendra Modi on his home turf, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday accused the BJP prime ministerial candidate of trying to stall his visit to Gujarat after he was briefly “detained” by police and said he did not find “even an atom of development” claimed by the Chief Minister.
As he embarked on his four-day tour to verify Mr. Modi’s claims of providing water, power, education and healthcare to people of his state, the former Delhi Chief Minister was taken to Radhanpur police station in north Gujarat and allowed to go after half an hour.
AAP’s State convenor Sukhdev Patel claimed that Mr. Kejriwal was detained but police denied it saying they had only “briefed” Mr. Kejriwal on the model code of conduct which came into force today with the declaration of poll schedule.
But Mr. Kejriwal alleged that the police had acted on the “orders from the top”.
“We came to know in the morning itself that all the DSPs have been instructed to stop Kejriwal under any circumstances. Modi has also been sending some people with black flags. We know they will resort to such tactics,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
“They stopped us and claimed that we were violating the model code of conduct. I told them that none of our vehicles is carrying stickers or any symbol of our party. So we were allowed to go,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
But police had a different version.
“He was not detained. Since the election dates are announced, we just wanted to make sure that he follows the model code of conduct and take due permission. Thus, we took him to police station to brief him about the same,” Parikshita Rathod, Patan district superintendent of police told PTI.
Mr. Kejriwal was heckled at some places by protesters who showed black flags and shouted slogans that AAP is “anti-Narmada” and called him an “agent of Congress”. AAP has fielded NBA leader Medha Patkar from North East Mumbai.
Mr. Kejriwal, on his route from Ahmedabad to North Gujarat on the first day of his four-day tour, interacted with villagers, visited government hospitals in backward areas and addressed small gatherings where he urged people to reject the BJP and the Congress.
After visiting a few villages in North Gujarat, he said that “not an atom of development is to be seen“.
“Gujarat government and the media says there is ’Ramrajya’ in this State. (They say) Education has developed, health issues have been resolved, corruption has been finished... So we have come here to see that development in Gujarat,” he had said on his arrival at the city airport on Wednesday morning.