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AAP MLAs, councillors meet Sunita Kejriwal; assert that CM Kejriwal should run Delhi govt from jail

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) A day after Arvind Kejriwal was sent to judicial custody in the excise policy case, AAP MLAs and councillors on Tuesday met his wife Sunita Kejriwal and asserted that the Delhi chief minister should run his government from jail and not resign.

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Kejriwal is in judicial custody till April 15 after his arrest last month by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case linked to his government's now-scrapped excise policy. He is lodged in Tihar jail.

The AAP MLAs and Municipal Corporation of Delhi councillors told Sunita Kejriwal that two crore people of the national capital stand with the chief minister and he should not resign at any cost, party leaders said.

Of the AAP's 62 MLAs in Delhi, 55 including all the ministers were present during the meeting.

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Four MLAs are out of station while three -- Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain -- are in jail, the AAP leaders said.

The BJP has demanded that Kejriwal should resign as chief minister following his arrest in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

Senior leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said the elected representatives wanted to meet Sunita Kejriwal after Kejriwal's arrest. However, the meeting was delayed due to the party's protests against the arrest and the opposition INDIA bloc's rally at Ramlila Maidan.

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The AAP MLAs met Sunita Kejriwal and nearly two dozen of them expressed their views, the Delhi Minister said in a press conference.

Since Kejriwal can interact with her through videoconferencing from Tihar jail, the MLAs and councillor urged Sunita Kejriwal to communicate to him their message that he should keep running the government from behind bars without tendering his resignation, Bharadwaj added.

They told Sunita Kejriwal that the BJP will exert "immense" pressure on the Delhi chief minister to resign. If he steps down, they will say that he abandoned his responsibilities, Bharadwaj said.

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"It is the policy of the BJP to set a trap and force the chief minister to resign," he said.

Kejriwal has communicated to party leaders and volunteers through his wife that he is fine, strong and more resolute than before, and asked them not worry about him, the Delhi minister said.

Sunita Kejriwal also communicated the chief minister's message that he was extremely proud that the AAP MLAs, councillors and the entire INDIA bloc successfully organised Sunday's massive rally at Ramlila Maidan even though he was not with them.

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"The chief minister has said that the rally gave a clear message that as long as he is in the jail, the problems for the BJP will keep increasing," Bharadwaj said.

He also rubbished speculation that the Delhi chief minister will be changed, calling it a "rumour" spread by the BJP.

The BJP has been trying to come to power in Delhi for 25 years but it is still as far away as it was 25 years ago, Bharadwaj said and added that Kejriwal will continue to hold the post of chief minister.

He also hit out at the BJP, saying it wants the AAP to give up power in Delhi to the saffron party. They are having "stomach pain" because the AAP is not relenting and so they are spreading "rumours". PTI VIT VIT SZM

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