Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have defended Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to stay away from the streets when masked intruders attacked JNU. They said if he had stepped out, it would’ve “played into the BJP’s hands”.   

“We sent ambulances. Kejriwal ensured everyone was on their toes. We have been doing everything at our end,” a senior Aam Aadmi Party leader told ThePrint, adding how the party didn’t want to fall in the trap as Kejriwal stepping out would lead to more violence and aid the “BJP’s strategy to burn Delhi”.

As the violence was unleashed on the premier university Sunday evening, Kejriwal had tweeted that he was “shocked” by the events. 

“I am so shocked to know abt the violence at JNU. Students attacked brutally. Police should immediately stop violence and restore peace.” 

His response, however, drew flak with several users wondering why the chief minister wasn’t stepping out when “there was a need to act”.

Actor Huma Qureshi was among those who took to Twitter and urged the Delhi CM to “stop the madness and not be a bystander”.

It was sentiment shared by several journalists, including Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV, Amit Baruah of The Hindu, who all expressed their angst about Kejriwal’s absence from the scene.

AAP defends chief minister

In no time, however, AAP members began tweeting that the Delhi Police came under the Modi government and wondered why people were not “tagging” Home Minister Amit Shah instead of questioning Kejriwal. 

Party media advisor Nagender Sharma also responded on Twitter that the Delhi government was with the students in this adversity but that the police reports to the Modi government.

AAP’s official Twitter handle also continued to tweet reiterating how Delhi government officials had sent out the health department officials to the campus and were constantly in touch with the ambulance staff to ensure medical help was being provided to the students. 

Kejriwal responded soon after, saying he had spoken to the L-G and that the situation was being monitored.  

That too didn’t earn the chief minister any sympathy. 

One social media user pointed out that each time Delhi is subjugated with brute force, none of these leaders are seen at the sight.

“He can carry a rajai (blanket) and sleep on the street outside JNU as a protest. He has done this in the past,” tweeted another social media user.  


Also read: ‘Kashmiri, Muslim students’ rooms targeted’ — many JNU students leave hostel after violence 


Our leaders were on the ground: AAP  

The AAP-led Delhi government is continuing to maintain that its leaders were out in the field and were being directed by Kejriwal. 

Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Maharashtra wing chief Preeti Menon went to AIIMS Sunday night to ensure the injured were being provided proper treatment. Party MLA Somnath Bharati also followed soon after.

“If CM comes out, the blame will go onto him, since I witnessed the kind of sloganeering and mess there was in even at the AIIMs hospital last night,” Sanjay Singh told ThePrint.   

He added that senior party leaders have been reassuring students since last night.

“Ever since Amit Shah has become HM, there are gang wars on the roads and no law and order in the national capital,” Singh added. “Why doesn’t anyone ask him? Or the PM? Or why don’t people ask where is Rahul Gandhi.” 

Of late, the chief minister has shied away from controversy. 

Kejriwal has steered clear of the polarising debate on the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and didn’t step out during the Jamia Millia Islamia protests.  


Also read: ABVP says JNU violence ‘planned by Left parties’, claims attacks started on 3 January 


 

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2 Comments Share Your Views

2 COMMENTS

  1. BJP checking laxman rekha crossing of AAP, once he crosses line.

    He will have to share votes.

    Lets see who manages to make CM out, Congress or BJP

  2. CM Arvind Kejriwal is now fully in election mode. He cannot afford any faux pas. Delhi Police do not report to him. The images of what happened in JNU have shocked everyone, far beyond Delhi. Others must answer. First the nationwide protests, now this act that brings global disrepute and opprobrium. A large wave is building up and no one should grudge an accomplished surfer the desire to ride it. The bookies are giving AAP a handsome victory.

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