Political slugfest between AAP, BJP over protest at Atishi’s satyagrah site

| | New Delhi
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Political slugfest between AAP, BJP over protest at Atishi’s satyagrah site

Sunday, 23 June 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

A group of protesters on Saturday raised slogans and waved placards at the venue of Delhi Water Minister Atishi's indefinite hunger strike against the water crisis in the city, with the AAP alleging the BJP caused the disruption.

The BJP hit back terming the hunger strike a political drama and claimed the protesters were civil defence volunteers and bus marshals removed by the AAP government from their jobs. Atishi, who started the indefinite fast on Friday at Bhogal in south Delhi, said some people came to the site of hunger strike to create a ruckus and attack her.

"But I want to tell the BJP that I am following the path of 'Satyagraha' taught by Gandhiji. I am not going to be scared by such things. I am not going to stop this hunger strike due to such actions. Till the 28 lakh Delhiites get their rightful share of water, this hunger strike will continue," she said.

The Aam Aadmi Party alleged that on the second day of Atishi's fast, the situation escalated as individuals "sent by the BJP" attempted to disrupt the arrangements and obstruct the peaceful protest.

Taking a dig at Atishi, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said it was a "Kejriwal model" of hunger strike in which a "Satyagrahi" can even go home and eat and drink.

"A political drama is being enacted to divert attention from the water crisis and the role of tanker mafia in it," he said, adding the civil defence volunteers and the bus marshals protested at against this.

"The AAP cannot tolerate dissent. By calling them BJP agents, Party MP Sanjay Singh insulted the bus marshals who went there to raise their voice," he said.

Addressing the AAP volunteers at the venue, Singh slammed the BJP saying those who sat at the hunger strike were examined by doctors and anyone who had eaten anything would be caught.

He said Atishi was on the stage in the morning and evening.

According to AAP leaders, the minister spent two hours in the morning and evening on the stage and rested in a room behind the stage for the remaining time.However, Sachdeva said even AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal sat amongst people when he was on a 'Satyagraha' in Sundar Nagari in 2011.

"Minister Atishi is on a five-star Satyagraha, sitting on the stage for four hours and spending 18 hours in an air-conditioned room behind the stage." he charged.

The Delhi BJP president claimed Aam Aadmi Party workers assaulted bus marshals who had went to Atishi's hunger strike venue to raise their demands.

Sachdeva said that it is laughable for a minister to protest and talk about hunger strikes. A minister's job is to work for the convenience of the public. If Minister Atishi genuinely believes there is a water shortage in Delhi and Haryana is not providing additional water, she should request water from her party’s Punjab government and its Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Delhi BJP President said it is highly regrettable that today at Atishi's protest site, Aam Aadmi Party workers assaulted bus marshals who had come to present their demands, and MP Sanjay Singh's comments on the matter are very unfortunate.

Meanwhile Atishi continued her indefinite fast, which enters the second day on Saturday, over the water crisis in the national capital. In a video message from her 'Jal Satyagrah', Atishi said 28 lakh people of Delhi were facing water scarcity and she will not eat anything till Haryana releases more water for the city, The minister sat on indefinite fast on Friday, alleging that Haryana was not releasing Delhi's rightful share of water in Yamuna.

She said 110 million gallons per day (MGD) less water was released by Haryana on Friday.

"One MGD water provides for 28,000 people. Shortage of 100 MGD water means 28 lakh people are not getting water in Delhi," she said.

The Water Minister said that Delhi depends on neighbouring states for water. It receives 1,005 MGD water from neighbouring states through rivers and canals, out of which Haryana provides 613 MGD, she said.  In the extreme summer heat faced by Delhi, Haryana has reduced its share to 513 MGD for a few weeks affecting over 28 lakh people, she added.

Sharing about this, Atishi said,

"There is a huge shortage of water in Delhi. 28 lakh people are not getting water in Delhi. I have been on an indefinite fast since yesterday to provide them with water."

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