Asif Zaman Rizvi – KIN, Lucknow 05 March The day on which the Election Commission declared Lok Sabha 2014 polling schedule ended on an all out war which seemed to be far from being ‘political per se’
Angered by the detention of Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal by the police in Gujarat, AAP activists clashed with BJP workers in Lucknow at their party head-office. Reports of such clashes also came in from Delhi where Delhi Police resorted to using water canon to disperse the demonstrators as both party workers pelted stones at each other outside BJP headquarters.
In Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh which sends maximum 80 members in Lok Sabha, violent clashes erupted between supporters of both the parties outside BJP office in the state capital. Dozens of AAP workers, carrying brooms (the party’s election symbol) staged a demonstration outside the BJP headquarters on Vidhan Sabha Marg. AAP activists allegedly attacked the BJP office with bricks, drawing retaliation as the saffron party workers, carrying canes, took to the streets. Several people were mercilessly beaten up by canes after being knocked down on the road as rival groups chased each other away
Earlier, Kejriwal’s convoy came under attack by unidentified people at Kharohi near Bhuj in Gujarat after he was released by the police after a brief detention. Kejriwal arrived in Gujarat on Wednesday to take on Narendra Modi’s governance model
Strongly condemning the protest by AAP supporters, BJP spokesperson said that the Model Code of Conduct has been issued by the Election Commission, AAP should have taken permission to show up at BJP office.
AAP workers questioned the need for detaining Kejriwal and said that their poll campaign in Gujarat was a pre-planned one with no flags and banners. They said that they came outside BJP office in Delhi to peacefully protest against the detention but the BJP workers clashed with AAP supporters and pelted stones.
On contacting AAP in Delhi, its office bearer Dr. Vinay Tripathi condemned the clash of party workers. He said that instructions were given to AAP workers to hold a ‘shanti-march’ only. He also asserted that media should take the statements from authorized spokesperson of AAP and should refrain from quoting any individual on behalf of the party.
In the evening Kejriwal tweeted: “I urge all volunteers not to raise their hand n to stay calm n non-violent. U shud be prepared to lay down ur life but never raise hand.”