In what has become yet another flashpoint between Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Delhi government, AAP has alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were asked to present invitation cards at the ‘At Home’ function hosted by the L-G on Wednesday.
“The L-G had organised a programme at Raj Niwas for Republic Day celebrations. Vehicles of many other officers were allowed to go inside the L-G House but the CM, the Deputy CM and the Speaker were asked by the police to present their invitation cards, and forced to wait outside for a few minutes,” government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma claimed.
The Delhi Police, responsible for the security, however, said that as per protocol, no vehicles were allowed inside. “The ‘At Home’ function at Raj Niwas is a solemn occasion celebrated every year to commemorate the Republic Day. As per established protocol, convention and because of space constraint, no vehicles of Delhi government are permitted inside. On Wednesday as well, no vehicle of any officer of the Government of India or the Delhi government was permitted. There was no delay on part of security in letting in the Honourable CM. Any misinformation to this effect is baseless,” the Delhi Police said.
The office of the L-G did not comment on the issue and said the security was handled exclusively by the Delhi Police.
Sources, however, said that as a matter of practice, cars are not allowed inside the L-G’s House, and no cars were allowed to enter.
AAP leaders, however, demanded that the CCTV footage of the area be released to verify their allegation. “Please make CCTV footage of L-G house entrance public. Let people of this country know whose cars were let in, and who all were asked to walk,” AAP national spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
Rebutting the Delhi Police’s statement, AAP leaders said that this was the first time that such treatment was meted out to the CM. “This has never happened before and this is not the first ‘At Home’ function that the CM and the others have attended. At least six other cars entered the LG House,” a senior party leader claimed.
According to sources, the CM did not take up the issue with L-G Baijal.