Arvind Kejriwal is and will remain Delhi CM: Delhi Minister Atishi

March 22, 2024 01:44 am | Updated 04:35 am IST

Security personnel keeping vigil near Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Thursday.

Security personnel keeping vigil near Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Thursday. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Atishi says there are no two ways about it; AAP to stage a protest outside BJP headquarters at 10 a.m. today; party supporters, Opposition leaders rush to 6, Flagstaff Road in show of solidarity

High drama prevailed outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house on Thursday evening as Enforcement Directorate officials reached his official residence at 6, Flagstaff Road in north Delhi’s Civil Lines area at 6.45 p.m. with a search warrant and Delhi police officers escorted him out of his bungalow around 11 p.m.

“Mr. Kejriwal is the AAP supremo, he is the Delhi CM, and he will remain the CM... there are no two ways about it,” Delhi Minister Atishi told a battery of mediapersons gathered outside the residence.

Apprehending his arrest, AAP leaders rushed to the Chief Minister’s residence. Amid heavy security blanket, supporters spilled onto the road while Delhi Ministers camped outside the bungalow. AAP MLAs Rakhi Birla and Sanjiv Jha, along with several party workers, were detained by Delhi Police amid chants of “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi” and “Kejriwal zindabad”. A few supporters were seen crying and sloganeering, claiming that their leader was innocent, and that the BJP has been using the ED as a tool to arm-twist the Opposition.

Several Opposition leaders, including Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely and senior Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit, also turned up in solidarity. “We are in coalition with AAP. The timing of the arrest raises very serious questions. They have arrested the Chief Minister of the national capital ahead of the elections,” said Mr. Lovely.

The Congress and AAP have struck a 4-3 seat-sharing alliance in the Capital for the Lok Sabha election.

On the petition filed in the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing to quash the arrest, AAP leader Jasmine Shah said, “Our legal team is in constant touch with Puneet Sehgal, Registrar of SC who handles the listing for CJI. A decision on whether a Bench is going to be constituted or not for urgent hearing is expected soon.” There was no development on that front till the filing of this report.

Senior party leader and Delhi Minister Gopal Rai said the party will stage a protest at 10 a.m. on Friday outside the BJP headquarters, a stone’s throw away from the Rouse Avenue court where Kejriwal will be produced. “We will hold protests across the country,” he added.

Reacting to the developments of the day, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said, “Today every citizen of Delhi is satisfied that the Chief Minister, who was involved in corruption, has finally been arrested. The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal is the defeat of corruption. He must resign immediately.”

Giving a brief description of what transpired moments before the Chief Minister’s arrest, senior AAP leader and Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “Every corner of the CM’s residence was searched, and the ED got just ₹70,000 in cash which it returned to the family.” He said Mr. Kejriwal’s phone was confiscated and no one in the house had access to phone. “They [BJP] can arrest the CM as they have the power to do so... But Arvind Kejriwal is an idea that cannot be destroyed.”

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