Angry protests book-ended Arvind Kejriwal’s journey today from Delhi to Punjab, with women from opposition parties heckling him over a sex scandal in his party, and others insisting he should “go back.”
Mr Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, was pushed by a crowd of women protestors as he boarded a Shatabdi train in Delhi this morning. The women shouted slogans against Sandeep Kumar, a minister who was sacked by Mr Kejriwal after he was seen in a sex video. The woman filmed with him has accused him of rape and Mr Kumar was arrested on the weekend.
The encounter at Delhi proves that the city’s police force is leaking his itinerary to compromise his safety, Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party or AAP alleged.
“Why did this happen despite the police being informed about the Chief Minister’s schedule? He is pushed around in the presence of the police, and they were silent spectators. TV cameras had been called. It is obvious that this was planned,” tweeted Mr Kejriwal’s deputy, Manish Sisodia.
AAP has also objected to the Delhi Police refusing to provide security for Mr Kejriwal in Punjab. The police says once the Chief Minister crosses into another state, it cannot guard him.
Mr Kejriwal is to spend three days in Punjab where his party has been short-circuiting with a series of scandals about candidates for the coming elections allegedly bribing top party leaders.
In the 2014 general election, AAP won a surprise four seats, and the party’s brand was surging in recent months Punjab on account of Mr Kejriwal’s frequent visits to the state, where he hopes to displace the ruling BJP-Akali Dal coalition.
As he arrived at Ludhiana, women members of the Congress flung bangles against him to protest against the sex scandal, and youth members of the Akali Dal separately shouted that he is not welcome in the state.