The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) earlier in the day alleged that Delhi Police has put Kejriwal under house arrest after he met protesting farmers at the Singhu border, a claim denied by the city police.
After hours of drama outside his residence, the AAP supremo came outside and addressed the party members.
“If I was not stopped, I would have gone and supported the protesting farmers in their Bharat Bandh movement. I am glad that Bharat Bandh was a success. I prayed for the protesting farmers while sitting inside,” he said.
Kejriwal said the Centre tried its best to ensure that he does not step out.
“They tried their best to ensure that I do not step out. If they would not have stopped me, I would have gone to support the protesting farmers… I hope the Centre agrees to the farmers’ demand and make a law on MSP so that our farmers do not suffer any more,” he said.
“We received a lot of pressure to allow the use of stadiums as temporary prisons, but we did not give permission and I feel this helped the movement. But since then the Centre has been very angry,” Kejriwal said.
He asked all party members to serve the farmers selflessly.
“I want to congratulate you all for serving the farmers as ‘sewadaars’. We had clearly told that no one should wear the party’s caps and take AAP’s name. We will go there as Indians and as patriots. The farmers serve us. It is the first time that we got a chance to serve them. I also went there as a sewadaar yesterday. This further angered the Centre,” the chief minister asserted.
Kejriwal said he was happy that the entire nation collectively came in support of the farmers movement.
“The call for Bharat Bandh by the farmers was highly successful. People from across the nation supported the bandh in their own way. The AAP volunteers and the people of Delhi also supported the movement, and I want to congratulate the farmers and the people of the country for this.
“I am happy the entire nation collectively came in support of the movement of the farmers, it represented unity. I wanted to spend some time on the border with the farmers today, not as a CM, but as a sewadar,” he said.
“I wanted to show my support to them by sitting with them for half-an-hour or so. I think they (Centre) got to know about my plan, and so they did not let me go. But even though I could not go, I was praying from my home for the movement of the nation to be successful,” the CM added.
The AAP leader also hit out at the Union government for stopping the farmers when they were moving towards the national capital.
“A few days back, we had received a proposal of the central government. First of all, they tried to stop the farmers in every city of Haryana when the farmers were moving towards Delhi. They used water cannons and tear gas shells on the farmers and set up barricades to stop them, but our farmers defied all the hurdles and reached Delhi.
“The Centre then decided to let the farmers enter Delhi, and they asked the Delhi government for permission to convert nine stadiums in the city into jails,” he said.
Kejriwal also mentioned the Anna movement and how its supporters were “put in these big stadiums which were converted into jails”.
“I suddenly could not help, but recall the Anna Andolan, and how we were put in these big stadiums which were converted into jails. They put us in jails and tried to weaken the movement.
“In the same way, I knew that they would put the farmers into jails to weaken their movement. There was a lot of pressure on us, we received calls from various sources. But we decided to stand in support of the farmers, which I think helped the farmer’s movement,” he added.
“A country where the farmers and the soldiers are sad can never progress. We have to keep politics aside and help the farmers, serve them and stand by them till their movement continues,” the AAP supremo added.
Addressing a press conference outside Kejriwal’s residence, Sisodia earlier in the day claimed that he and several party MLAs were not allowed to meet the CM. He and some AAP members were later allowed to go inside the CM’s residence.
The city police, however, denied the charges of keeping Kejriwal under house arrest.
The Opposition BJP and Congress called the so-called house arrest of Kejriwal a “political gimmick”.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar said the AAP is indulging in politics of lies and betrayal.
“AAP is constantly doing politics of lies and betrayal. Yesterday, CM Kejriwal went to Singhu border and he also went to a party in the evening. This is the video. They are calling resting at home as house arrest,” he tweeted and posted a purported video of Kejriwal’s residence.
Delhi Congress president Anil Chaudhary said, “It is a gimmick. How can he go out in support of Bharat Bandh when his own government has notified the new farm law? He must be waiting for Amit Shah’s permission before leaving his residence.”
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi against the new farm laws.
The Centre’s offer to amend the contentious laws failed to cut ice with farmer groups during the fifth round of talks on Saturday.