Radhanpur: Taking on Narendra Modi on his home turf, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal today accused the BJP PM candidate of trying to stall his visit to Gujarat after he was briefly "detained" by police and said he did not find "even an atom of development" claimed by the chief minister.
As he embarked on his four-day tour to verify Modi's claims of providing water, power, education and healthcare to people of his state, the former Delhi Chief Minister was taken to Radhanpur police station in north Gujarat and allowed to go after half an hour.
AAP's state convenor Sukhdev Patel claimed that Kejriwal was detained but police denied it saying they had only "briefed" Kejriwal on the model code of conduct that came into force today with the declaration of poll schedule.
But Kejriwal alleged that the police had acted on the "orders from the top". "We came to know in the morning that all DSPs have been instructed to stop Kejriwal under any circumstances. Modi has also been sending people with black flags. We knew they will resort to such tactics," Kejriwal said.
"They stopped us and claimed we were violating the model code of conduct. I told them that none of our vehicles carried stickers or any symbol of our party. So we were allowed to go," Kejriwal said. But police had a different version. "He was not detained. Since the election dates were announced, we just wanted to make sure he followed the model code of conduct and took due permission. Thus, we took him to the police station to brief him about the same," Parikshita Rathod, Patan district superintendent of police told PTI.
Kejriwal was heckled at some places by protesters who showed black flags and shouted slogans that AAP is "anti-Narmada" and called him an "agent of Congress". AAP has fielded NBA leader Medha Patkar from North East Mumbai.
Kejriwal, on his route from Ahmedabad city to North Gujarat on the first day of his four-day tour, interacted with villagers, visited government hospitals in backward areas and addressed small gatherings where he urged people to reject the BJP and the Congress.
After visiting a few villages in North Gujarat, he said that "not an atom of development is to be seen".
"Gujarat government and media say there is 'Ramrajya' in this state. They say education has developed, health issues have been resolved, corruption has been wiped out... So we have come here to see the development in Gujarat," he had said on his arrival at the city airport this morning.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, scores of AAP supporters staged a protest outside BJP headquarters today hours after Arvind Kejriwal was detained in Radhanpur, Gujarat.
Police resorted to use of water canon to disperse the demonstrators. AAP activists also clashed with BJP workers.
The demonstrators reached the BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road at around 5 pm. They shouted anti-Modi slogans claiming the Gujarat police acted on behest of Modi.