The sit-in protest at Raj Niwas by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues entered its fourth day on Thursday as several Aam Aadmi Party leaders marched to LG Anil Baijal’s residence and chanted slogans such as “LG sahab, Delhi Chhodo (LG, quit Delhi)”. The party has planned to hold a candlelight march at Raj Ghat to keep the momentum going. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kejriwal alleged that Baijal is doing “nothing” to break the impasse despite repeated requests from the party and sought the PM’s intervention in the case. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan also wrote a letter to the PM later in the day, asking for the same.
The Delhi High Court, on the other hand, agreed to hear on June 18 a plea seeking to declare the sit-in by the CM and his cabinet colleagues as unconstitutional and illegal. The petition was mentioned before Justice C Hari Shankar who said that it be listed for hearing on Monday. The plea filed by petitioner Hari Nath Ram sought direction for discharging the chief ministerial obligations and responsibilities as the entire functioning of the Chief Minister office of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi has been brought to a “stand still” since the sit-in started.
Meanwhile, several regional parties, including the Trinamool Congress, backed the Kejriwal-led protest. Appealing the Centre to resolve the crisis immediately, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Elected Chief Minister must get due respect. May I appeal to the government of India and the LG to resolve the problem immediately so that people do not suffer.” Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary also called the situation in Delhi a “governance failure”. Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha also joined the AAP workers during their protest on Tuesday. “Had Atal Bihari Vajpayee been the PM, he would have ordered the Home Minister to open a dialogue with the elected CM,” Sinha said.