Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi President Manoj Tiwari and his supporters were allegedly involved in a brawl with workers of the Aam Aadmi Party at the inauguration of the Signature Bridge in New Delhi on Sunday, ANI reported. Both parties blamed each other for instigating the altercation after the police were called in to manage the situation.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the bridge on Sunday. It will be opened for public use from November 5.
Manoj Tiwari, who represents North East Delhi in the Lok Sabha, reportedly accused Aam Aadmi Party supporters and the police of “misbehaving” with him. Tiwari had expressed unhappiness over not being invited to the function despite being a Member of Parliament, PTI reported.
“I will be present at Signature Bridge to welcome the Chief Minister. After all I am the MP of the area,” he had tweeted on Saturday. “It took 15 years and Rs 1,500 crore to build the bridge, it’s shameful.”
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, meanwhile, said that all of Delhi was invited to the opening.
Tiwari claimed that barricades were erected to stop him from entering. “Am I a criminal? Why has the police surrounded me?” he said. “I’m here to welcome him [Arvind Kejriwal].” A video showed Tiwari engaging in a fistfight with police personnel trying to restrain him.
The BJP claimed that AAP leader Amantullah Khan used abusive language and pushed Tiwari.
Kejriwal described the situation as “unprecedented”, accusing the police of being a “mute spectator” at a programme organised by the Delhi government. “Can LG [Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal], being head of Delhi Police, ensure peace and order at Signature Bridge inauguration site?” he tweeted.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Dilip Pandey accused Tiwari of hooliganism, claiming that BJP supporters thrashed his party’s volunteers and local people who had to be admitted to hospital. “Thousands of people have come here to celebrate without an invitation card, but the MP [Manoj Tiwari] considers himself a VIP,” said Pandey. “He is doing hooliganism.”
The bridge on the Yamuna is expected reduce travel time between north and northeast Delhi. Four elevators have been installed to carry people to the top of the bridge, where a 154-metre-high glass box will give visitors a bird’s eye view of the city. The elevators are expected to start functioning in two months, said an unidentified official.