Kejriwal claims victory after Delhi protest

Chief Minister says "people of Delhi have won" after he called off his unprecedented protest following a compromise.

Last updated: 22 Jan 2014 05:04
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Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers held cabinet meetings on the street during the protest [AFP]

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “anarchist” 30-hour protest in the Indian capital has ended abruptly with him claiming a “victory” after accepting an offer of compromise from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

While Kejriwal and his AAP (Common Man’s Party)-led government demanded the suspension of five police officials over alleged dereliction of duty, the chief minister called off his unprecedented street protest on Tuesday evening after the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung agreed to send two of the police officers on leave.

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The sit-in demonstration had turned ugly with supporters of AAP and the 4000 strong police force clashing.

Reports say over 30 people including AAP volunteers, policemen and journalists were injured in the clashes.

Besides calling for action against the police officials, Kejriwal had demanded that the police in Delhi be made to report to his Delhi government. Currently, the police force is under the federal Home Ministry.

However, Kejriwal told his supporters that the party had won a “victory” and “the people of Delhi have won.”

Kejriwal warned the AAP would protest again if the “safety of  any woman was threatened” in Delhi.

Anarchy over governance

Indian media reports say Kejriwal’s threat to extend the ten-day protest “indefinitely” collapsed on Tuesday night due to criticism that he was neglecting governance duties, bad press and the biting winter chill that led to dwindling crowds.

AAP senior leader Yogender Yadav said that protests were “legitimate methods” in a democratic nation.

Opposition parties criticised Kejriwal of “gimmicks” and “activism neglecting governance”.


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