NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party workers, led by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Lok Sabha candidates Atishi and Raghav Chadha sat on a protest outside the Election Commission on Friday, alleging that call centres hired by the party to inform people that their names had been deleted from the electoral rolls were being raided by the police.Sisodia said barely an hour after he had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to seek action against Delhi Police for allegedly harassing the call centre employees at the behest of the BJP, a fourth raid was conducted.
Dissatisfied that no direction had been given to the police to stop its action, Sisodia decided to meet the CEC again, this time without an appointment. Sisodia waited outside the CEC’s to record his complaint.
Soon, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a tweet, asked all 67 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs to lay siege to the EC office to “show the mettle” of his party to the EC.
Till late in the evening a handful of AAP leaders and members were present for the sit-in protest, where Sisodia was sitting outside shouting “Jab Jab Modi darta hai, police ko aagey karta hai”. AAP MLA Somnath Bharti and MP Sanjay Singh were also present.“If the police has to ask something, why are they harassing the call centre employees who are working for us? We (AAP) have hired them, come and question us if you want something,” said Sisoida.
Later in the day, all the protesters were invited inside by the CEC. “Have met the CEC, he has assured to convene a joint meeting with senior officials of Delhi EC and Delhi Police”, Sisodia said.
Late in the evening, Sisodia and the other leaders came out of the Election Commission with happy faces. The deputy chief minister thanked the EC on social media and said that a non-partial probe into the matter would be carried out by EC.
The deputy chief minister had written a letter to the CEC a day earlier, demanding action against Delhi Police. “Why is Delhi Police asking for data from the call centre employees? Around 300 police officials have reached at the site of two of our call centres, you are threatening the call centre employees to not work for AAP and you call it ‘investigation’. It is the responsibility of the EC to conduct free and fair elections. If police is working on the directions of Amit Shah, then commission should step in and stop it,” Sisodia wrote.
Reacting to the developments, the BJP stated that “Arvind Kejrwal and his party members, MLAs have once again proved that he does not respect any institution. The way in which Aam Aadmi Party has challenged the impartiality of Election Commission of India has shamed the people of Delhi by staging this dharna,” said Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari.