Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused the BJP of playing “dirty politics” over the Shaheen Bagh protest. He dared the Union government to open the road that has been closed due to the agitation, saying they have his permission if they need it.
Mr. Kejriwal said the BJP does not want to open the stretch of the Kalindi Kunj road where anti-CAA protests are going on for over a month as the saffron party is doing “dirty politics” over it.
“Law and order in the national capital entirely lies with the Centre and if they are saying that they need permission from me, I am giving them permission, open the road in one hour,” he said.
Mr. Kejriwal said the road is closed in Shaheen Bagh due to which a lot of people are being inconvenienced.
“School children face inconvenience. Passing of ambulances is an issue. The journey that used to be 40-minutes-long is now taking 2-3 hours. I have said this a number of times that everyone can protest democratically but that protest should not hassle people,” he said.
He hit out at BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad over the Shaheen Bagh protest. Mr. Kejriwal asked why Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad were not going to Shaheen Bagh to talk to the people and get them to open the route.
“I can give you this in writing, the BJP does not want to open the route in Shaheen Bagh. It will remain closed till February 8 (election day) and it will open on February 9,” he told reporters.
In a tweet later, Mr. Kejriwal again asked BJP leaders to go to Shaheen Bagh to get the blockade cleared.
“BJP leaders should immediately go to Shaheen Bagh and talk to them [protesters] and get the road reopened,” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted soon after Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned his silence.
Protesters opposing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and a planned pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) have been sitting on protest at Shaheen Bagh for over a month now.
The agitators said they will continue their agitation until the government decides to roll back the contentious law and scrap NRC.
The Delhi Police has appealed to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh to unblock the road after parents of schoolchildren expressed “deep anxiety” in view of the forthcoming board examinations.