In a bid to put pressure on the Centre and the BJP, four non-BJP Chief Ministers met here on Saturday and discussed a strategy to provide support to protesting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who wants IAS officers to end their non-cooperation with his government.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended a meeting at Andhra Bhawan with her counterparts, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Karnataka’s H.D. Kumaraswamy and Andhra Pradesh’s N. Chandrababu Naidu.
They then visited Kejriwal’s residence, where they met his wife and other members of his family. Delhi Speaker Ram Niwas Goel was also present.
The four Chief Ministers also wrote a joint letter to Delhi’s Lt. Governor Anil Baijal seeking to meet Kejriwal who is on a protest at the Lt Governor’s office-cum-residence, Raj Niwas.
“All of us would like to make a representation to you with respect to the issues concerning the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal. Please grant us a meeting slot today as we are waiting. We request you to give us time around 9 p.m. today (Saturday),” it read.
On meeting of four Chief Ministers, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha said: “This is a teaching for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, no matter how much he try to kill the democracy, our struggle will continue. Kejriwal is getting support from four elected Chief Ministers.”
The four Chief Ministers met shortly after Baijal declined permission to Banerjee to meet Kejriwal. She had planned to go to the protest site — Lt. Governor’s residential office — along with Naidu.
Informed sources said the four Chief Ministers were planning a strategy on how to strengthen Kejriwal’s hands.
On denial of permission by the Lt Governor, Kejriwal tweeted: “I don’t think LG can take such a decision on his own. Obviously, PMO has directed him to refuse permission. Just like IAS strike is being done at PMO’s instance.
“We live in a democracy. Can PM deny CMs of other states to meet CM of another state? Raj Niwas is no one’s personal property. It belongs to the people of India.”
Announcing Baijal’s denial of permission for Banerjee to meet her Delhi counterpart, Chadha tweeted: “Permission denied by LG. Extremely sad state of affairs.”
Kejriwal followed it up with: “This is getting more and more bizarre…”
Minutes before Chadha had tweeted: “West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee asks LG to let her meet Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal this evening at 8 p.m.”
Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, is camping at Raj Niwas since Monday demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike.
He also wants the central government to approve his government’s proposal to deliver ration to the poor at their houses. (IANS)