Thirty former Indian Police Service officers on Tuesday urged President Droupadi Murmu to intervene and counsel Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against his “high-headed and boorish behaviour” towards police personnel.
In a letter to the president, the retired officers flagged an incident in Gujarat on September 12, when Kejriwal was involved in an argument with police officers over security protocols. The Delhi chief minister had alleged that he was being stopped by the police from visiting the public.
The former officers said that Kejriwal’s remarks were “distasteful and inconsiderate” and have caused deep injury to the police force.
“Considering that Kejriwal is the chief minister of India’s capital city, the police force is duty bound to ensure his safety,” the group said in the letter. “It was disheartening to note that in order to score a political brownie point, Kejriwal conducted himself in a manner that utterly belittled the police officers for diligently obeying their duties…”
The officers, including former Jammu and Kashmir Police chief SP Vaid, accused Kejriwal of “orchestrating” similar controversies in the past. In 2017, he raised a similar grievance with the Punjab Police, even asking for a complete withdrawal of security, the group said.
“It is noteworthy that soon after campaigning concludes, Kejriwal in a completely conflicting stance is quick to cite ‘threat perception’ and allege that the police forces of the country do not offer him sufficient protection,” they said.
In response, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was behind the letter by the officers, PTI reported.
“BJP’s prospects in Gujarat in forthcoming elections are very bad,” the party said. “Their own leaders lack any mass appeal and are completely discredited. That’s why the BJP has to now sought help of some retired police officers.”
The development came after a group of former bureaucrats and diplomats on September 15 wrote to the Election Commission, alleging Kejriwal sought to induce public servants to help his outfit in Gujarat and demanded the withdrawal of the recognition to the Aam Aadmi Party.
The retired bureaucrats and diplomats had said that Kejriwal, during a press conference in Rajkot on September 3, repeatedly urged public servants in the state to work in tandem with the Aam Aadmi Party to ensure its victory in the polls.
The elections in Gujarat are slated to be held by December. The BJP has been in power in the state for more than two decades. The Aam Aadmi Party has been working to make inroads in the Saurashtra region, where the BJP had suffered electorally in 2017.