Delhi Event "Hijacked" On PM's Orders, Arvind Kejriwal Won't Attend: Minister

Posters of Arvind Kejriwal were torn down, the police were seen clicking photos of the re-done decorations, and uniformed cops in large numbers were seen guarding the event in large numbers in photos posted by the AAP on Twitter.

PM Modi and the Lt Governor's photos eclipsed Arvind Kejriwal's.

New Delhi:

A Delhi government event was "hijacked" on orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office by the police who put up his towering photos on stage and threatened to arrest anyone who removed them, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged on Sunday, prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to skip the function.

Posters of Mr Kejriwal were torn down, the police were seen clicking photos of the re-done decorations, and uniformed cops in large numbers were seen guarding the event in photos posted by the AAP on Twitter.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the centre sent in the police last night to put up banners bearing PM Modi's smiling face for a plantation drive at the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary.

"Last night, the Delhi Police reached the venue of the event and took control of the area. They forcibly put up banners carrying pictures of PM Modi... The banners belonging to the AAP government were torn off," Mr Rai alleged at a news conference.

The Delhi Police warned people not to touch banners carrying pictures of PM Modi, he claimed.

Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, who is a representative of PM Modi's BJP-led government at the centre, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were supposed to attend the event and all preparations had been made, he said.

This is the latest face-off involving Mr Saxena who took over in May and has already tried to block a Singapore visit by Mr Kejriwal for a government event and ordered a CBI probe into the capital's new liquor policy, accusing Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of corruption.

Sources in the Lt Governor's office said, "The said programme of tree plantation corresponding with the 'Van Mahotsav', was to be undertaken by the LG and CM jointly. A mutual decision in this regard had been taken on July 4th, 2022. 1,00,000 trees are to planted as a part of the program, and the LG and CM were to launch the same together today. One is left to wonder if recommending a CBI inquiry into an apparently illegal Excise Policy is taking the focus of the CM away from Delhi's environmental concerns."

Minister Gopal Rai, however, said, "An event of the Kejriwal government has been turned into a political event of PM Modi. The Delhi Chief Minister and I have now decided not to participate in the programme."

Mr Rai said the incident showed that PM Modi is afraid of Kejriwal.

"Attempts are being made to malign our government. Satyendar Jain was arrested on frivolous charges. Now a conspiracy is being hatched to arrest Deputy Chief Minister (Manish Sisodia). The Chief Minister had to go to Singapore, but the file was stalled," he said.

"The police are supposed to ensure the safety and security of people and not put up banners of PM Modi," he said.

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