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Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest will be last nail in BJP’s coffin: AAP | Latest News Delhi

Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, Delhi cabinet minsters and MLAs held a day-long “Samuhik Upwas” (community fast) at Jantar Mantar on Sunday as a “collective act of solidarity” to protest against the arrest of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal while accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of resorting to “dictatorship” and asserting that “people will respond to the incarceration with their votes” in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

AAP supporters during the party’s day-long protest against the arrest of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Read here: Kejriwal’s arrest: AAP’s collective fast today; congregation at Jantar Mantar, Khatkar Kalan

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The fast started at 11am with party leaders taking turns to speak about the jailed party leader, with a large image of Kejriwal behind bars forming the backdrop of the stage with the message, “Kejriwal ko Ashirwad: Samuhik Upwas” (). The senior functionaries who took part in the protest fast included Delhi assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel, deputy speaker Rakhi Birla, cabinet ministers Gopal Rai, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Atishi, Kailash Gahlot and Imran Hussain, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and mayor Shelly Oberoi.

Delhi minister Atishi accused the BJP of resorting to dictatorship and claimed that the AAP’s fast will give “sleepless nights” to the BJP. “Kejriwal’s arrest will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of BJP. Before independence, a Mahatma’s fast shook the foundations of the British rule in India. Today, this fast by AAP will rob the dictatorial ruler of BJP of his sleep. This country has now woken up, the end of the dictator is near.”

Singh, who was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court in the Delhi excise case, said that an innocent person has been jailed in a fake case with the help of lying witnesses. “Protests are being held in support of Kejriwal not only in the country, but also in different places in the world. This is a big achievement for us, our message against the dictatorial government is reaching the people. The real liquor scam has been done by the BJP, and its money trail has also been found. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (I-T) department should investigate against the BJP leaders,” Singh said. Party volunteers will now go from door to door to spread the message of the AAP, he added.

Singh said that the AAP national convener’s name was mentioned by just four of the 456 witnesses of CBI and ED that are probing the case. “People know very well under what situation these witnesses named Kejriwal,” he added.

The party also put up pictures of Bhagat Singh, Dr BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi and floral tributes were paid to them. The speeches of the ministers and party leaders were punctuated by volunteers singing patriotic songs, reading poems and waving posters showing an image of Kejriwal behind bars. Similar protests were held in other states by the AAP state units.

Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the party was now back to its mode of protests held in 2011-12. “People came together to sing songs for the country, kept fast. The countdown of the BJP-led government has now started and there is a lot of anger among people. People are sad about how the CM elected by them has been put in jail. BJP may target the CM every day, but it is only leading to less number of votes for them,” he added.

Delhi assembly speaker Ramniwas Goyal said, “The supporters of democracy all over the country and even the world are on a day-long hunger strike. This battle has now started against those who buy MLAs of the elected governments and bring down governments. This method of fasting was provided as a weapon to us by Mahatma Gandhi. The BJP is power-hungry and they can not even wait for five years after losing elections. We can protect the Constitution of India. They wanted to break AAP, but we became stronger,” Goel said.

Read here: AAP’s Sanjay Singh says he is ‘hurt’ over Nitish Kumar’s exit from INDIA bloc

Mayor Shelly Oberoi said that people will respond to the dictatorial attitude. “It has now become clear the only Kejriwal can give competition to (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. BJP has been rattled. They thought arresting the CM will disintegrate the party. We are praying with this fast that Kejriwal will be released soon. Giving good education, healthcare and welfare to people is not a crime.”

The AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai alleged that Kejriwal’s arrest by ED in a case linked to the Delhi excise policy case was part of the BJP’s conspiracy to finish the AAP. “The country is under crisis. If people speak against BJP, they are arrested and their families harassed… Kejriwal has said in court that our life is dedicated to this country. The election process has started and people have to decide whether the government will be constitutional or dictatorial. It is a battle to save democracy and the Constitution,” Rai said. The fast ended at 5 pm with National anthem being played.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said, “Kejriwal has engaged in so many corruption scandals. It would have been better if the Kejriwal party had collectively atoned for corruption today instead of resorting to the collective fast.”

BJP’s Kapil Mishra said, “Kejriwal is deceitful and is doing exactly the opposite of what he promised before coming into politics. Repentance for Kejriwal’s sins will not come from fasting for a day because the entire party has committed so many sins that even fasting for a lifetime won’t absolve them.”

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