We together have to save country from dictatorship: Arvind Kejriwal after walking out of Tihar : The Tribune India

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We together have to save country from dictatorship: Arvind Kejriwal after walking out of Tihar

Walks out of the prison in the evening amid dhol beats and sloganeering by AAP workers and leaders

We together have to save country from dictatorship: Arvind Kejriwal after walking out of Tihar

Arvind Kejriwal addresses supporters after being released. PTI


New Delhi, May 10

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday thanked Lord Hanuman as he walked out of Tihar Jail on interim bail after 40 days in judicial custody, and sought people's support in his fight to end "dictatorship" in the country.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor was granted interim bail till June 1 by the Supreme Court earlier in the day in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam. He will have to surrender and go back to prison on June 2.

AAP leaders said the interim bail granted to Kejriwal would be a "game changer" for both AAP and the INDIA bloc's campaign as the Lok Sabha polls enter the crucial phases in the coming weeks.

Opposition leaders also welcomed Kejriwal's interim bail, saying the "fight to save democracy" would now have more intensity. Hinting at a rise in the stature of Kejriwal as a top INDIA grouping leader, senior AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said he would go all over the country to campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.

As the Delhi chief minister walked out of prison on Friday evening, AAP workers and supporters raised slogans of 'Jail ke tale toot gaye, Kejriwalji chhoot gaye'.

Standing through the sunroof of a car outside the prison, a grey T-shirt-clad Kejriwal addressed AAP workers and leaders gathered there to welcome him.

Beginning with slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki jai', 'Vande Mataram' and 'Inquilab Zindabad', he said, "I am fighting against dictatorship with all my might but 140 crore people (of the country) will have to come together to fight against it."

He said he would visit the Hanuman temple at Connaught Place at 11 am on Saturday and address a press conference at the AAP office at 1 pm.

"I am feeling great to be with you. I had told you that I would come out soon... First of all, I want to pay obeisance to Lord Hanuman. I am among you because of the blessings of Lord Hanuman," Kejriwal said, asking people to come in large numbers to the temple.

The AAP leader also thanked people for their love and blessings and asked them to come together to fight against dictatorship.

"I want to thank you all. Crores of people of the country sent their blessings to me. I want to thank the Supreme Court because of which I am here," he added.

Kejriwal reached his residence in the Civil Lines area around 8.30 pm where he was welcomed with dhol beats and slogans by AAP workers as flower blowers showered him with petals.

The chief minister sought the blessings of his parents and hugged them. His mother garlanded him and applied 'tilak' on his forehead.

Speaking to reporters outside his residence, Kejriwal announced that he would participate in a roadshow likely to be held on Saturday in South Delhi's Mehrauli area.

"I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the Supreme Court because of which I have found an opportunity to campaign for the elections. Our country is 4,000 years old but it has never accepted anyone who has tried to impose a dictatorship," he told them.

The country is passing through a phase of dictatorship, the Delhi chief minister alleged and said, "I am fighting against it with all my might... But 140 crore people need to come together to defeat it. I want to appeal to people that we have to save the country together."   

Kejriwal also thanked people with folded hands and waved at them as they raised slogans of 'Dekho dekho kaun aaya, sher aaya, sher aaya'.

Bharadwaj said the AAP chief's interim bail after 40 days is no less than a miracle. "His release will pave the way for big changes in the country," the Delhi minister added.

Senior AAP leader Atishi, who, too, is a minister in the city government, described the top court's decision as a victory for truth and democracy.

"I want to appeal to people that this is the last chance to save democracy through the power of vote and replace dictatorship in the country," she said.

In a post in Hindi on 'X', the party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, "Truth can be troubled but not defeated. The decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is welcome. Dictatorship will end. Satyamev Jayate."

Within hours of the interim bail granted to Kejriwal by the apex court, AAP was running its 'Jail Ka Jawab Vote Se' campaign, and its leaders started posting comments and videos on social media platforms using the hashtag #ModiCantStopKejriwal.

Clad in yellow T-shirts, AAP supporters celebrated the top court's judgment by dancing to dhol beats and distributing sweets at the party office here.

AAP is fighting on its own in all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. In Delhi, it is contesting on four out of the seven seats as part of a seat-sharing pact with its INDIA bloc partner Congress. 

#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #Arvind Kejriwal

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