AAP govt told people to stay away from dharna, but quietly mobilised the crowds

Messages went out to local units in Haryana to send supporters.

New Delhi | Published:January 21, 2014 4:03 am
Protesters gather around Arvind Kejriwal’s blue Wagon R as it comes up against police barricades outside Rail Bhavan Monday. Ravi kanojia Protesters gather around Arvind Kejriwal’s blue Wagon R as it comes up against police barricades outside Rail Bhavan Monday. Ravi kanojia

On Sunday evening, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked “supporters and public” not to come for his dharna in view of Republic Day preparations, but Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) units in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh had already been mobilised by then.

Party sources said messages calling for supporters went out to neighbouring states on Sunday afternoon itself.

On Monday afternoon, protesting outside Rail Bhawan, Kejriwal said “he could not sleep all night, and Republic Day could not mean just watching tableaux”. He urged “all people to come here and support us”.

Several leaders of the party’s state units said they had arrived in Delhi the previous evening. Paramjeet Singh, secretary of AAP’s Haryana unit, said, “Several of us arrived in Delhi on Sunday itself, knowing that police would barricade the area where the dharna would take place. Nearly 150 people from Haryana are at the dharna site, and over 800 are standing behind the barricades. We have come prepared to sit with Arvindji on fast for ten days if the need arises.”

Members of AAP units in Haryana districts like Bhiwani, Rewari and Fatehabad said they had received details of dharna plans on Sunday afternoon. “We left our areas last night, so we could arrive in time. We got a message to leave our districts and add to the numbers in Delhi. There was no further communication and we were not told to go back because of the restrictions in Delhi for Republic Day. We are happy that the party called us. Several people have come from UP as well,” said a member of the Bhiwani district unit.

Sources said several Delhi MLAs contacted people in neighbouring states on Sunday. “There are close links, as each district unit was attached to one constituency in the run up to the Delhi assembly elections. The Bhiwani unit worked for the Shakarpur candidate Satyendra Jain, and members of his office called us on Sunday,” said an AAP member. Jain, now health minister, sat away from the site of the protest after the police refused to let his Bhiwani supporters enter with him.

Asked to explain the huge crowds despite Kejriwal’s appeal asking them not to come, an AAP leader said, “The dharna was well publicised, and these people came on their own to show their support. While we cannot deny that there are people from outside, no message was sent to them.”

Late on Monday, the AAP said, “Aaj Arvind Kejriwal Delhi ki janta ki suraksha ke liye poori raat thand mein sadak par soyenge. Delhi Police ke tanashahi ke khilaaf kal 9 am sab Rail Bhawan pahunche (To ensure the security of the people of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal will sleep on the road all night in the cold. Reach Rail Bhawan at 9 am tomorrow to protest against the autocratic Delhi Police).”

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  1. A
    Jan 21, 2014 at 3:34 am
    So earlier he made fool of Dilli public and now others are joining this dogla too?
  2. A
    Jan 21, 2014 at 11:26 am
    We did grate mistake by supporting AAP in internet and talking.. Now We are sure AAP will be a grate threat to our country's stability and safety of women and children's.. Luckily they are exposed before Loksabha election. Now we are understanding the issue of corruption is only secondary compared to the future threat from AAP.
  3. A
    Alok Asthana
    Jan 22, 2014 at 8:03 am
    God sent Arvind to save the country but you guys couldn't recognize the gift!
  4. A
    Alok Asthana
    Jan 22, 2014 at 8:07 am
    So, today's India is wonderful, My salute.
  5. B
    Jan 21, 2014 at 2:22 am
    Let them enjoy in cold.Leave them alone ,they will go back home in a day or two.
  6. N
    Nedunchezhian Senthilnayagam
    Jan 21, 2014 at 8:51 am
    It is the double standard by AAP. Similarly, they would also be corrupt in the long run. If they get bribe it is okay. Because, they are with people. If anybody else get money, they are anti national and anti aam admi. Arvind is the fourth politician in India. He would ruin all insutions and India if not checked properly. He wants to loot India in the name of anti corruption movement. He has no moral values. He behaves like a Taliban in Indian politics. It is unfortunate that Congress has supported him. He should be dismissed and put behind bars.
  7. A
    Jan 21, 2014 at 2:48 am
    Successfully deflected attention from Sunanda Pushkar's death and a quite burial of the controversy.
  8. I
    Jan 21, 2014 at 4:35 am
    I had great hopes in ARVIND KEJRIWAL but by behaving in an irresponsible manner he will squander away the goodwill he had built. People in India want stability and governance and by disrupting the lives of Delhites what is he achieving????? On the verge of Republic Day when the world is watching us he is calling everyone to agitate!! Is this governance?? I hope our country does not land in chaos. Toady anyone can wear a white cap, carry a broom and do whatever they want. Bad elements can take advantage of this situation . It is scary, WAKE UP INDIA
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