NEW DELHI: The fight between the AAP government and the Lt Governor over installing CCTV cameras in Delhi intensified today as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his cabinet ministers and MLAs sat on a 'dharna' for over three hours near the L-G office, asking him "not to stall" the project under "pressure from the BJP".
Kejriwal and his colleagues sat on 'dharna' after the police officials deployed at L-G Anil Baijal's office told the Chief Minister that he and his ministers can meet Baijal, but the AAP legislators will not be allowed to go with them.
Shortly after, Kejriwal, his ministers, legislators and AAP supporters sat on a 'dharna' barely 100 metres from Baijal's office in protest.
"The L-G does not want to meet MLAs. He only wants to meet me and cabinet ministers. The L-G will have to meet the MLAs. I will meet him along with the ministers and the MLAs," Kejriwal said.
The protesters chanted Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajan "Raghupati Raghav, Raja Ram" and prayed for "good sense" to prevail on the L-G.
"Cowards bring police forward, but those who are brave believe in dialogue. The L-G's refusal to meet the MLAs is an insult to the people of Delhi," Kejriwal said.
The dharna began around 3:30 pm and ended at 6:40 pm with Kejriwal vowing to reach out to people to tell them that the "BJP and the L-G are disrupting the installation of CCTV cameras in the city".
"Our MLAs will hold meetings in their localities and tell people that the BJP and the L-G are hampering installation of CCTV cameras and elicit their views on it.
The standard operating procedure for installing CCTV cameras will be decided by the people, and not by a shahanshah (L-G)," he said at the end of over three hour long sit in.
The protest near Baijal's office disrupted the movement of vehicles in the area. A large number of police personnel were deployed at the scene of the protest.
Before sitting of the protest, the AAP leaders had taken out a march from Kejriwal's official residence in Civil Lines area to Baijal's office to urge the L-G for "not stalling" the project under "pressure from the BJP".
Kejriwal, his ministerial colleagues including his deputy Manish Sisodia and PWD Minister Satyendra Jain, and AAP MLAs, began their march at 3 pm under heavy police security cover.
During the two-kilometre march, they raised slogans against the L-G and the BJP.
Before the protest, Kejriwal attacked the BJP, alleging it does not want CCTV cameras installed in Delhi and hence was stalling the project through the L-G's office.
In its 2015 manifesto election, the Aam Aadmi Party had promised to install at least 10 lakh CCTV cameras in the city for the security of women.
"The committee set up by the L-G is very dangerous. The committee has been set up to stall CCTV project," Kejriwal told reporters.
The AAP dispensation has been opposing the LG-appointed committee constituted for preparing a common framework for installation and monitoring of CCTV cameras.
Yesterday, Baijal wrote to Kejriwal, saying it was "unfortunate" that the public and media were being "misled" on the issue "repeatedly and deliberately".
Hours after Baijal's letter, Kejriwal wrote back to the lt governor, seeking to know why he was "politicising" the issue of women safety.
Kejriwal alleged that Baijal had set up the committee "arbitrarily", bypassing the elected government and sought to know why he was "violating" the Constitution.