New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday alleged that some of its leaders, including MLAs and councillors, were place under house arrest or detained, while its volunteers stopped from participating in a protest outside the BJP headquarters here.
The AAP's protest, which is being attended by Delhi Chief Minister and party national convener Arvind Kejriwal, is against alleged "cheating" in Tuesday's Chandigarh mayoral polls, which the BJP won.
Security has been stepped-up in Central Delhi with police barricading several roads leading to the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg and deploying additional personnel in view of the AAP's demonstration as well as a protest by the BJP against "corruption" in the Kejriwal government.
The BJP is protesting near the AAP head office. The offices of both the parties are on the same road, a few hundred metres from each other.
AAP leader Gopal Rai told a press conference that his party's MLAs and councillors have been "placed under house arrest ahead of the protest".
"Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel and Deputy Mayor Aaley Mohd Iqbal have been placed under house arrest," he said and added that "police should issue a clarification on this".
Rai said that "they should be immediately released".
In a post on X, Kejriwal said, "First votes were stolen in the Chandigarh mayoral elections. Now, people coming to protest peacefully against this are being stopped at various places across Delhi."
पहले चंडीगढ़ मेयर चुनाव में वोट चोरी किए।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 2, 2024
अब इसके ख़िलाफ़ शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन करने आ रही जनता को जगह जगह दिल्ली भर में रोका जा रहा है https://t.co/PsZpGAcNS8
"Across Delhi, they are detaining elected MLAs, councillors and volunteers, who were coming to the party office. What is this going on?" he said in another post.
All across Del, they are detaining elected MLAs, councillors and volunteers who were coming to party office. What is this going on? https://t.co/fzSfibjgYl— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 2, 2024
Officials said roads leading to the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg have been closed since morning and barricades have been set up near the headquarters of the BJP and the AAP.
In a post on X, Delhi Minister and AAP leader Atishi said, "Heavy barricading all across Delhi. Buses full of AAP volunteers being detained. Hundreds of para-military forces outside the AAP office." "Why is the BJP so scared of a protest on the Chandigarh mayoral elections?" she asked.
Heavy barricades all across Delhi, buses full of AAP volunteers being detained, hundreds of para-military forces outside the AAP party office - why is the BJP so scared of a protest on the Chandigarh mayor elections?— Atishi (@AtishiAAP) February 2, 2024
Her cabinet colleague Saurabh Bharadwaj in a video statement asked whether the BJP was scared of Kejriwal.
"The entire entire country saw how votes were stolen in the Chandigarh mayoral polls by the BJP. Two elected chief ministers -- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann are coming to protest against it," he said.
"But we have learnt that our councillors, MLAs and party workers coming to their own party office are being detained. Is BJP scared of Kejriwal? I request people to maintain peace and reach the protest site," the AAP leader said.
The BJP on Tuesday swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls, retaining all three posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, in a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance which has alleged tampering with ballot papers by the presiding officer.