13th March, 2019
*AAP MLAs and volunteers reach Sunlight Police Station under the leadership of Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha, ask to be arrested for the ‘crime’ of getting voters added in the electoral roll*
For the past few days, Central Government ruled Delhi Police, at the behest of the BJP, has been unlawfully harassing and intimidating vendors and call centre owners who have been working with the AAP. To protest the same, Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and South Delhi Lok Sabha Candidate Raghav Chadha led various MLAs, councillors and volunteers to Sunlight Police Station and demanded that they be arrested for the crime of getting voters rightfully reinstated in the electoral rolls.
Some months ago AAP unearthed a massive voter deletion scam engineered by the BJP. Upon inquiry and investigation, it was discovered that names of over 30 lakh voters had been wrongfully and illegally removed from Delhi’s electoral roll by the BJP in collusion with some officials. A delegation led by CM Arvind Kejriwal had met with then Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat to discuss the matter. In the meeting, OP Rawat himself admitted that over 10 lakh voters had been deleted from Delhi’s voter list.
In January, the Election Commission released a draft electoral roll in which it was discovered that for the first time, the number of voters from Delhi had seen an aggregate decrease instead of an increase. To add to that, immediate family members of our MLA from Tughlakabad Sahiram Pehalwan also saw their names unlawfully deleted from the voters list of their constituency. Keeping in mind all evidence that came forward, AAP demanded that Election Commission take cognisance of the huge offence and ensure that all wrongfully deleted voters be reinstated and given back their fundamental right to vote.
While it is the Election Commission’s duty to ensure that all the citizens of Delhi who have reached the age maturity are given their due right to vote, their unwillingness to take affirmative action to this effect compelled the elected representatives to take it upon themselves to protect the citizen’s democratic rights.
In order to do so, AAP organised multiple voter camps, carried out to door to door campaigns and tried to reach citizens through campaigns with the help of vendors. Since the BJP itself had engineered the mass voter deletion fraud and got non BJP voters deleted by large numbers, this awareness campaign was very inconvenient for them.
In their effort to clamp down on the campaign, they have colluded with certain officers of Delhi Police and started systemic harassment and intimidation of vendors and call centre owners engaged with the AAP. Once the election dates were declared, Central Government ruled Delhi Police summoned the vendors form their offices and residences subjecting them to prolonged mental harassment at the police station.
Speaking from the police station, Raghav Chadha said, “If the BJP wants to fight us, we dare them to arrest us. Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, myself and various MLA’s are present here and if they consider that getting voters reinstated is a crime, then they must arrest us. If the BJP thinks they can intimidate and threaten those who work with us and shut down our awareness campaign, they are mistaken and we will not let it happen. We are here and we will get arrested if it comes to that. Why are they intimidating the vendors? What is their fault? When somebody protests arrest the protesters, but why arrest the man setting up the tent?”
He said, “It is a crime to illegally and unlawfully get a registered voter’s name deleted from the electoral roll, snatching away their democratic rights. The BJP will pay for this crime. But creating awareness and getting deleted names reinstated is certainly not a crime.”