The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday accused the Centre of “hijacking” the closing ceremony of the Van Mahotsav at the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary after Delhi Police allegedly put up banners bearing the picture of the Prime Minister at the venue.
The party said the police, acting at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office, took down and tore banners carrying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s photograph.
Mr. Kejriwal and Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, who were supposed to share the stage with Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, skipped the event.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Rai said, “We had made all preparations to welcome the Lieutenant-Governor and conduct the programme. But an event of the Delhi government has been turned into a political event by putting up a photo of the Prime Minister. He was not even supposed to take part in it. Following the incident, Mr. Kejriwal and I decided not to participate in the programme.”
Despite repeated requests, Delhi Police refused to comment on the issue.
Sources from the L-G’s office, Raj Nivas, said the final design of the banner to be affixed on the stage was sent to the Delhi government on Thursday. Billboards carrying the Chief Minister’s picture were still on display at the venue, the sources said.
Childish behaviour: BJP
Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said it was unfortunate that the ruling party had raised an objection to Mr. Modi’s picture being put up at the venue and termed the Chief Minister’s behaviour “childish”.
The L-G later participated in the event and initiated the plantation of one lakh saplings at the sanctuary to protect the Capital’s ecology.