From statehood to breaking silence on PM, AAP shifts gears ahead of LS polls

The final act began when Kejriwal and three AAP ministers started camping at Raj Niwas on Monday, asking the L-G to persuade officers to end their “partial strike”. They are yet to leave.

Written by Mallica Joshi | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2018 1:57:30 am
From statehood to breaking silence on PM, AAP shifts gears ahead of LS polls Yashwant Sinha with AAP leaders during Wednesday’s protest march. Gajendra Yadav

For a year, he maintained silence when it came to the Prime Minister. Then, on May 29, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal fired a fresh salvo, attacking PM Narendra Modi directly on Twitter. Since then, the party has announced ‘prabharis’ on five out of seven Delhi Lok Sabha seats, called a special session of the Assembly, and passed a resolution demanding full statehood. The final act began when Kejriwal and three AAP ministers started camping at Raj Niwas on Monday, asking the L-G to persuade officers to end their “partial strike”. They are yet to leave.
According to party insiders, the events are planned keeping the general elections in mind. The AAP’s “agitation politics” is back, they said.

“MCD election results were a big blow. It was believed that attacking the PM was making him stronger. The CM and party members took a decision to stop the direct attacks. The situation has changed — the BJP is no longer seen as invincible, and the AAP has had time to regroup,” said a senior leader.

Read | Its leaders inside, AAP marches on L-G’s house

That’s why a CBI raid at PWD Minister Satyendar Jain’s house prompted Kejriwal to tweet: “What does PM Modi want?” This was followed by another tweet on May 31, hitting out at the PM after BJP’s bypoll loss in Kairana.
On Wednesday, the prabharis, being seen as AAP’s Lok Sabha candidates, were at the forefront of the agitation outside Raj Niwas. The five — Dilip Pandey, Atishi Marlena, Raghav Chadha, Pankaj Gupta and Guggan Singh Ranga — shared the stage with AAP ministers Imran Hussain, Kailash Gahlot, Rajendra Pal Gautam and its three Rajya Sabha MPs.

“The party has made it clear its poll plank will be statehood. The dharna has given us a platform where we can clearly show that Delhi is suffering because the legislature’s powers are curtailed,” said another leader.

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