Section 144 has been imposed in Malerkotla city of Punjab ahead of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s visit.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal is scheduled to visit Malerkotla on Monday evening where he is expected to meet different sections of the society including industry representatives.
The district magistrate has imposed Section 144 in Malerkota citing communal tensions over ‘desecration of Quran’ issue in which AAP MLA Naresh Yadav has been booked. Section 144 prohibits an assembly of more than ten people in the area. Now, It remains to be seen if Arvind Kejriwal continues with his scheduled plan or authorities stop him to hold public meeting.
This is Kejriwal’s second tour of a longer duration to Punjab this year. He made a five-day trip to various parts of Punjab in February.
The visits are in connection with the assembly elections to be held in Punjab in February next year for which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is posing a serious challenge to the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine and the opposition Congress.
The AAP leader’s visit to the state started under the shadow of an AAP legislator in Delhi, Naresh Yadav, being named in a case filed over the sacrilege of Quran, the holy book of Islam, in Punjab’s Muslim dominated town of Malerkotla in Sangrur district recently.
Yadav has been booked by Punjab Police in the conspiracy behind the sacrilege incident.
The AAP legislator is the party’s co-in-charge for Punjab affairs. AAP leaders say the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance government of trying to implicate its leaders in false cases.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday refused to be drawn into the controversy over the criminal case against the AAP legislator saying that the police were investigating the matter.
During Kejriwal’s visit, the AAP leadership will focus on youth and other categories of voters in Punjab, whose 117 assembly seats go to polls early next year.
The AAP has four MPs in the Lok Sabha from Punjab. Two of them are under suspension from the party.