AAP face-off with Centre, Kejriwal starts dharna

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday mounted an unprecedented confrontation with the Centre demanding action against some police officials while asking the honest among them to take leave and join the dharna near the seat of power in the heart of the capital.

Unfazed by criticism that he was unleashing anarchy on the streets of the capital, Kejriwal said “I am an anarchist” and have come prepared for a 10-day protest which could prolong further.

The Centre also toughened its stand rejecting the demand for immediate action saying anything can be done only after a proper inquiry which was on. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also ruled out Delhi Police coming under the purview of the Delhi government.

This is probably the first time a chief minister and his cabinet is holding a dharna on the streets that looks like it may be a prolonged affair.

“We will not move out,” Kejriwal said after a senior police official asked them to move to nearby Jantar Mantar, the place from where Kejriwal and Anna Hazare had launched an anti-corruption campaign two years ago.

The trigger for the agitation that has disrupted life close to the vicinity of central government’s seat of power, the Raisina Hill, is Delhi Police’s refusal to raid an alleged drug and prostitution ring in an area under Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s constituency of Malviya Nagar.

Bharti had himself led a team of AAP supporters past midnight on Wednesday last week and demanded a raid but police on the spot refused to do his bidding.

Accusing police of taking bribes and making money while compromising the safety of women, Kejriwal demanded that central government suspend four officials who refused to act on the minister’s orders.

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