Kejriwal touches parents' feet, pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat before leaving for Tihar

Kejriwal asserted that all exit polls predicting a third term for the BJP-led NDA were "fake".
Arvind Kejriwal, his wife and other AAP leaders returning from Raj Ghat (L). Kejriwal seeks the blessings of his parents as he leaves his residence, ahead of his surrender before Tihar jail (R).
Arvind Kejriwal, his wife and other AAP leaders returning from Raj Ghat (L). Kejriwal seeks the blessings of his parents as he leaves his residence, ahead of his surrender before Tihar jail (R). (Photo | EPS, PTI)

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his family bid adieu to each other on Sunday before he left the CM's residence to surrender at Tihar jail after his interim bail in the excise policy case ended on June 1.

Kejriwal hugged his children and touched his parents' feet before leaving in a car for a scheduled visit to the Rajghat and the Hanuman temple at Connaught Place.

He waved a final goodbye to his parents before his car sped alongside a long trail of vehicles carrying AAP leaders who accompanied the chief minister for his surrender.

Kejriwal's wife Sunita, son Pulkit and daughter Harshita also accompanied him for his surrender.

Sharing visuals of the family's last moments together, the AAP wrote in a post on X, "Bharat Mata's brave son Arvind Kejriwal ji took blessings from his parents and hugged his children before going to jail to save democracy. Kejriwal will not bow down to dictatorship."

In another post, the party wrote, "It is this feeling that scares the dictator. With a smile on his face, Delhi CM Kejriwal headed towards Rajghat to pay homage to father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Today, Kejriwal ji will go to jail in this fight to save democracy."

In a display of unity and support, Kejriwal's family and AAP leaders accompanied the chief minister as he paid homage at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at the Rajghat and offered prayers at the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place.

Kejriwal later addressed a large gathering of workers and leaders of the AAP before leaving for Tihar jail.

AAP leaders, including Atishi, Kailash Gahlot and Saurabh Bharadwaj, Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Sandeep Pathak, and party leaders Durgesh Pathak, Rakhi Birla and Reena Gupta were also present.

Patriotic songs and slogans of "Kejriwal Zindabaad" filled the air at the party headquarters.

Addressing the gathering, Kejriwal said, "I am going back to jail not because I was involved in corruption but because I raised voice against dictatorship. I campaigned for the Lok Sabha polls to save the country."

Kejriwal said that the BJP will not form the next government at the Centre, saying the exit polls were "fake" and "mind games" by the BJP.

"Yesterday, exit polls were out and I can give you in writing that they are fake. In Rajasthan, there are 25 parliamentary seats but one exit poll gave them 33 seats. What was the reason that they had to release fake exit poll results?" he said, targeting the BJP.

Exit polls on Saturday predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will retain power for a third straight term, with the NDA expected to win a big majority in the polls.

"They are not forming government on June 4. These exit polls are mind games to drive you into depression," Kejriwal told AAP workers and leaders.

"I have told all the INDIA bloc parties to be vigilant and not let their counting agents leave early. Counting agents have to stay till the end when the EVM votes and VVPATs are tallied. Even if the candidate is losing, they have to stay till the end," he said.

Counting of votes of the general elections will be taken up on June 4.

"I was given a 21-day (relief) by the Supreme Court. These 21 days were unforgettable. I did not waste even a minute. I campaigned for saving the country. The AAP is not important, it is secondary. The country comes first," Kejriwal said.

He said that Prime Minister Modi accepted in an interview that not even a single penny has been recovered in connection with the excise policy case.

Before reaching party office, Kejriwal paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat and then offered prayers at the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place.

"I paid obeisance at Rajghat. Gandhiji is our inspiration for ending dictatorship. I went to the Hanuman Mandir. I have the blessings of Bajrangbali. June 4 is Tuesday. Bajrangbali will destroy dictatorship," he added.

The address at the party headquarters was summed up with the national anthem and Kejriwal left for Tihar amid a sea of Indian flags.

In a post on X in Hindi, Kejriwal, earlier in the day, said, "On orders of the honourable Supreme Court, I came out from prison for election campaign for 21 days. Many thanks to the honourable Supreme Court."

"Today I will go to Tihar and surrender. I will leave home at 3 pm. First, I will go to Raj Ghat and pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi. From there, I will go to Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place to seek blessings of Hanuman ji. And from there, I will go to the party office and meet with workers and party leaders. From there, I will leave for Tihar," the chief minister said.

"All of you take care of yourselves. I will be worried about you. If you are happy then your Kejriwal will also be happy in jail. Jai Hind," he added.

Minutes before the chief minister's surrender, security arrangements were beefed up at Tihar jail with heavy police deployment.

Traffic was also restricted in the area.

The chief minister surrendered to the Tihar authorities after 21 days of bail granted by the Supreme Court for the election campaign.

He was released from prison on May 10 on an interim bail granted by the apex court in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

The bail expired on June 1, the day the seventh and last phase of the general elections was held.

Arvind Kejriwal, his wife and other AAP leaders returning from Raj Ghat (L). Kejriwal seeks the blessings of his parents as he leaves his residence, ahead of his surrender before Tihar jail (R).
Arvind Kejriwal to return to Tihar today, says 'If you are happy, I will be happy'

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com