Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he would have gone and supported the farmers in their Bharat Bandh call if he “wasn’t stopped”. Kejriwal’s remarks came hours after the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that Kejriwal had been put under house arrest after he visited farmers at the Singhu border on Monday — a claim denied by Delhi Police.
Addressing AAP members from his residence, Kejriwal said, “I had planned that today I would go to the border not as CM but as a common man to express my solidarity with the farmers. I think they came to know about my plan and they did not let me go. I am glad Bharat Bandh was successful. I prayed for protesting farmers while sitting inside”.
AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that Kejriwal’s residence had been barricaded completely, with none allowed to enter or leave the premises. He also claimed that the MLAs, who had a meeting with CM on Monday, were beaten up by the cops when they went to meet him.
“On the direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Delhi Police has put Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal under house arrest ever since he visited farmers at Singhu border. No one has been permitted to leave or enter his residence and he has not been allowed to meet anyone,” Bharadwaj said.
DCP (North) Anto Alphonse, meanwhile, has denied all such allegations. “This claim of CM Delhi being put on house arrest is incorrect. He exercises his right to free movement within the law of the land. A picture of the house entrance says it all,” the Delhi Police said in a tweet.
This claim of CM Delhi being put on house arrest is incorrect. He exercises his right to free movement within the law of the land. A picture of the house entrance says it all.@DelhiPolice @LtGovDelhi pic.twitter.com/NCWBB9phDS
— DCP North Delhi (@DcpNorthDelhi) December 8, 2020
Addressing a press conference outside Kejriwal’s residence, Sisodia claimed that he and several party MLAs were not allowed to meet the CM.
“Still the police is falsely saying that there is no house arrest. They are doing this because Kejriwal denied permission to convert Delhi’s stadiums into temporary prisons for the protesting farmers. They are afraid of Kejriwal and fear that he will come out to support the bandh,” he said.
Kejriwal and his cabinet members visited the Singhu border on Monday. After he surveyed the sanitation and water availability at the site, Kejriwal said he had not come as a CM, but a sewadar.
“I am not present here as a Chief Minister, I have come here as a sewadar, I have come here to serve the farmers. The farmers put in all their hard work and efforts and grow food for us. They are in a huge problem today, and it is the responsibility of all the citizens of the country to stand with the farmers and work for their service,” he told reporters later. He reiterated that he was under immense pressure to allow nine stadiums in the national capital to be used as temporary jails for protesting farmers, but he refused.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines