New Delhi: Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and cabinet minister Satyendra Jain joined an indefinite fast at the office of lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Wednesday to press for demands submitted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
AAP members, including senior leaders, legislators and party workers, marched to Raj Niwas on Wednesday to intensify their protest, while the party’s top leadership—chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sisodia, cabinet ministers Gopal Rai and Jain—continued to sit in protest at the L-G’s office for the third consecutive day.
The party plans to escalate the issue and hold protests outside the Prime Minister’s Office if the demands are not met by Sunday.
The AAP, in its letter to the L-G, has demanded his intervention to end a four-month-old strike by government officials. It has also demanded that the L-G give his clearance to a proposal for doorstep delivery of subsidized food.
The AAP has reached out to other opposition parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, Communist Party of India (CPI), Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
“To end the dictator-like behaviour, we have reached out to other opposition parties, including the CPM, CPI, SP, JD(S), and RLD. We have spoken to all of them and they have assured us of their support. We are trying to get the support of other political parties also on this issue. There are other governments run by opposition parties that are facing similar problems," said senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh.
“It would be better for the country if a solution to the crisis in Delhi is found at the earliest," said former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, who took part in the march from the chief minister’s official residence to Raj Niwas.
AAP has also won the support of Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac. “Union Territories like Delhi, with legislatures, should be given the status of states. L-G rule in Delhi must end. It is a shame on Indian democracy that the elected CM and colleagues have to sit in all night dharna at L-G office," Issac said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a counter protest against the Delhi government. “BJP Delhi dharna is against ArvindKejriwal and his team. Due to neglect by AAP water and electricity is in a state of crisis for Delhiites. AAP leaders sitting in AC room enjoying paid holiday at the cost of citizens woes...," Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said on Twitter.