This image of the 'Vanmahotsav' event was shared by the AAP on its Twitter handle.

PM Modi banners 'forcibly' put up at Delhi govt event; CM won't attend: AAP

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Environment Minister Gopal Rai have decided not to participate in an event on Sunday (July 24) after banners carrying pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were put up at the venue last night, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister said.

Rai alleged that the Centre tried to “hijack” the ‘Vanmahotsav’ event which was organised by the Environment and Forest department of the Delhi government. He said the Delhi Police put up banners carrying pictures of PM Modi at the venue (Asola Wildlife Sanctuary) last night.

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“CM @ArvindKejriwal was to attend Delhi Govt’s Van Mahotsav. But on the orders of the Prime Minister’s Office, the police forcibly put the picture of Modi ji on the stage and threatened to arrest if removed. What did Modi ji want to prove by putting his picture in the programme of Delhi Govt?” AAP tweeted with pictures on Sunday.

He said Kejriwal was supposed to attend the event but has now decided not to participate in it. Rai alleged the Delhi Police acted on the directions of the prime minister’s office (PMO).

“Last night, the Delhi Police reached the venue of the event and took control of the area. They forcibly put up banners carrying pictures of PM Modi… The banners belonging to the AAP government were torn off,” Rai alleged at a press conference.

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The Delhi Police warned people not to touch banners carrying pictures of PM Modi, he claimed. Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and Kejriwal were supposed to attend the event and all preparations had been made, he said.

“An event of the Kejriwal government has been turned into a political event of PM Modi. The Delhi chief minister and I have now decided not to participate in the programme,” he said.

“The CM and L-G had to attend the event together but it is very unfortunate that in this government programme, at the behest of the PMO, police were sent and were made to hijack the pandal and stage at the venue. On the stage, a banner with PM Modi’s photo was placed.

“People were told that if it is removed, action would be taken against them. As per the programme, the banner would be flashed on an LED screen and awareness programmes for children would be played following that. But a banner was placed on the LED. This is unfathomable,” he added.

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Rai said the incident showed that PM Modi is afraid of Kejriwal.

“Attempts are being made to malign our government. Satyendar Jain was arrested on frivolous charges. Now a conspiracy is being hatched to arrest Deputy Chief Minister (Manish Sidodia). The CM had to go to Singapore but the file was stalled,” he said. “The police are supposed to ensure the safety and security of people and not put up banners of PM Modi,” he said.

On Twitter, Rai posted, “The ‘Van Mahotsav’ organised by the Kejriwal government was to conclude today in the presence of CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal and LG Sir, but it is very unfortunate that last night, on the instructions of the Prime Minister’s Office, the police took over the government program and made it a political programme.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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