Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday cried foul, a day after his Aam Aadmi Party was denied a plot of land for its headquarters in the Capital. “This must be the first time in independent India that a ruling party is being denied office space in the state where it is in power,” he said at a press conference.
The AAP national convenor pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress had multiple offices in the city “despite negligible presence in Delhi politics”. Kejriwal also alleged that rival parties were creating a number of controversies against the AAP to defame it ahead of the civic body elections in Delhi on April 23, NDTV reported.
“The Congress has four offices...the BJP has seven offices...while AAP, which has 67 [Assembly] seats in Delhi, has no office. Even the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party have an office in Delhi, but the AAP’s office has been taken away,” Kejriwal said.
Claiming that denying AAP land for an office was part of a larger plot to “finish” the party, he said: “...We are on the path of truth. People will teach them a lesson in the polls. Having an office is our right. We are not seeking a favour. It was allotted legally. We will place a fresh demand for an office. People are already offering us space.”
On Friday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had cancelled the land allotted for the AAP’s headquarters in Rouse Avenue after the Shunglu Committee report accused the Delhi government of “gross abuse of power”. The panel sanctioned by Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung had found irregularities in the allotment of land for AAP offices and several appointments. It had reviewed 404 files of the Delhi government and concluded that the AAP administration had passed orders without consulting with the lieutenant governor first as per law.