February 22 2020
Kejriwal detained; AAP, BJP cadres clash
05 March 2014

The detention of Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in Radhanpur town in Gujarat on Wednesday sparked off street clashes between AAP and Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Delhi, Lucknow and near Kutch district. The Gujarat Police briefly detained Mr. Kejriwal for not taking permission to hold a roadshow.


Accusing Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of trying to suppress dissent and criticism, AAP workers, including several Delhi MLAs and party candidates for the Lok Sabha election, tried to barge into the BJP headquarters in New Delhi and raised slogans against Mr. Modi and his party in the afternoon.


The protesters said if Mr. Modi was so confident about development in his State, he should not be scared of someone visiting it to have a look. This did not go down well with BJP workers and they attacked party leader Ashutosh with sticks. Soon stone-throwing started from both sides. The police had to use water cannon on the protesters, who were undeterred and regrouped after briefly dispersing.


The AAP protesters vandalised boards and hoardings mounted at the BJP office, and alleged that Mr. Modi was scared of Mr. Kejriwal’s rising popularity.


Sign of things to come


AAP leader Shazia Ilmi criticised the police action, and said it was a “sign of things to come” if Mr. Modi became Prime Minister.


Later in the evening, clashes spread to Lucknow where AAP workers, armed with brooms, clashed with lathi-wielding activists of the BJP. Three-dozen AAP workers were staging a demonstration outside the BJP headquarters against Mr Kejriwal’s detention.


Almost simultaneously, Mr. Kejriwal’s car was attacked by BJP workers in Kutch district. The former Delhi Chief Minister is on a four-day visit to Gujarat.


BJP president Rajnath Singh tweeted: “Being a responsible political party, the BJP does not believe in anarchy and violence. Appeal to all party karyakartas in the country to stay calm and peaceful.”


(With additional reporting by Shubhomoy Sikdar in New Delhi)




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