AAP claims police stopped party-led group from reaching Okhla landfill, holds protest

New Delhi: Police on Thursday stopped an AAP-led group from reaching the Okhla landfill site, the party alleged, prompting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to ask if police should be deployed for the protection of women or garbage hills.

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Later, the group led by Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj held a protest and raised anti-BJP slogans.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also hit out at the BJP, saying the three landfill sites — Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa — at city borders are the “biggest achievement” of the party’s 17-year rule in the Delhi civic body.

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On Wednesday, police prevented a group led by AAP MLA Atishi from reaching the Ghazipur landfill site.

The visits to the infamous garbage hills are part of the AAP’s month-long campaign to highlight the “failures” of the BJP-controlled civic body.

The group led by Bharadwaj was stopped by police at barricades installed much ahead of the Okhla landfill site. Soon after, the group members held a protest and raised slogans against the BJP.

“Now, the mountain of garbage in Okhla is heavily guarded. The BJP is hiding its miracle this way,” Bharadwaj said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Police personnel have been deployed here (Okhla landfill site) so that people do not reach here, take pictures and expose the BJP’s lies,” Bharadwaj, who is also the chief spokesperson of the AAP, told reporters.

“BJP MPs have been spreading lies for five years that the garbage hills have been removed,” he said.

The majority of the funds for the removal of garbage from the three landfill sites in Delhi is given by the Arvind Kejriwal-led city government but they are still standing tall due to the “corruption” in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Bharadwaj charged.

“MCD officials say it will take 200 years to clear these hills,” he claimed.

Targeting the BJP, the AAP leader said the only work done by the party so far is “defaming Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi”.

“If it could not clear these garbage hills in 15 years, what will it do,” he asked.

Reacting to the developments, Chief Minister Kejriwal asked what is going on.

“Should the police of the country be deployed for the safety of mothers and sisters or for the protection of garbage hills,” he asked in a tweet in Hindi.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia alleged the MCD is planning to create “16 new garbage hills” in Delhi and has identified sites at various locations in the city. He exhorted Delhiites to not let the civic body go ahead with its plan.

“While people living near the three landfill sites are already suffering due to the incompetence and negligence of the BJP, it wants to make the lives of people hell in other parts of the capital too. It is planning to create 16 new garbage hills at various locations in the city,” Sisodia claimed.

He said the chief minister has “some plans” to clear the three garbage hills and urged people to vote for the AAP when the municipal polls are held in the national capital.

The BJP ruled the three erstwhile municipal corporations in Delhi and the AAP was the main opposition party till the terms of the civic bodies expired in May.

Elections to constitute a new civic body, which comes under the BJP-led Centre, are yet to be held as an exercise for delimitation of municipal wards is underway.

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