Government should go when it starts fearing citizens: AAP

AAP leaders Ram Niwas Goyal and Sushil Gupta (left) address party workers during the march from Mandi House to the Prime Minister’s residence in support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in at the lieutenant-governor’s office, in New Delhi.

New Delhi: Targeting the Narendra Modi government, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday said that when a government starts fearing its own people, it is time for it to go.

The observation came just hours before AAP’s march towards the Prime Minister’s residence for which the Delhi Police has denied permission.

AAP spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj said that it “felt like everything has gone five years back” when the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) “felt threatened and used its police force to stop Delhi citizens from protesting against it (during Lokpal agitation)”.

“I feel when a government starts fearing its own people, then it is time for that government to go,” Bhardwaj told the media here.

Thousands of Aam Aadmi Party supporters were joined by flag waving Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres at the heart of Delhi today as protesters gathered to march to the Prime Minister’s Office. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury was lending support to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The protesters, however, were stopped midway at Parliament Street by the Delhi Police, who also maintained that they did not seek permission for a march. The protest was soon called off. Kejriwal, who has been camping out at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s house for a week, in protest against what he calls a “strike” by Delhi’s IAS officers, had repeatedly appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and resolve the situation.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury accused the Modi government of using the Governors office to destabilise the non-BJP state governments as well as to install BJP governments despite the saffron party not winning the mandate.

“Utilising the office of the Governors and Lt. Governors, the BJP central government is seeking to destabilise non-BJP democratically elected state governments. This is happening with the democratically elected governments in Delhi and in Puducherry,” he said.

Yechury said the office of the Governor was sought to be utilised “to hijack people’s mandate in Karnataka” which was thwarted.

He pointed out that the Governor’s office was used to “install BJP governments” even after they have “lost the elections”, like in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya.

“The Governor’s office has been misused in Bihar to allow the BJP to enter the government through the backdoor after losing the Assembly elections comprehensively,” said the leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

Yechury said such efforts were “destroying the already fragile Centre-state relations”, which is the backbone of the federal content of the Indian Constitution. “This must not be permitted.”

He said the Communists in India were the “first victims of such central authoritarian misuse of constitutional provisions” when the elected government in Kerala was “undemocratically” dismissed in 1959.

“This has happened with Left-led governments repeatedly in Kerala and West Bengal subsequently,” he said.

The chief ministers of four Indian states met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday and urged him to intervene for solving the tussle between the lieutenant governor and government of Delhi, terming it a “constitutional crisis”.

On the sidelines of the governing council meeting of government think tank NITI Aayog, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, and Karnataka’s H D Kumaraswamy requested Modi to resolve the crisis so the “federal structure of the Constitution is maintained”.

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