Kejriwal’s iconic blue Wagonr stolen from outside Delhi sectt
AAM AADMI CAR The vehicle belonged to the party and was being used by AAP’S media coordinator Vandana Singh for the past 2 years
NEW DELHI: The ‘iconic’ blue Maruti Wagonr car that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal drove around in his early political career and even camped in during an agitation in 2014 was stolen from outside the Delhi Secretariat building, which houses the CM office, on Thursday afternoon.
The car belongs to the Aam Aadmi Party and for the last two years was being used by Vandana Singh, the party’s media coordinator and in-charge of its youth wing. It was often seen parked at the party office at Central Delhi’s Deen Dayal Upadhya Marg.
Once nicknamed ‘ AAP Mobile’, the hatchback shot to limelight in January 2014 when Kejriwal camped and slept in it during a protest against the Delhi Police at the Rail Bhawan.
Singh told Hindustan Times that she had driven the car to the Delhi Secretariat around 11.45am on Thursday and parked it “on the roadside”, opposite gate number 3 of the government headquarters. “People park their cars there,” she told HT when asked if it was a legal parking spot.
“When I came out and looked for the car around 2.30pm, I found it missing. The CCTV footage showed the car being driven away at 1.04pm, but the visuals were blurred,” she said.
Since she was certain that it was a theft and the car, bearing the registration number DL-9CG9769, was not towed away by the traffic police, she approached the IP Estate police station. A case of theft has been registered and probe is on. When asked if the car was insured, Singh said, “I will have to check. It must be.”
“Initially, we were informed about a car theft. Later it emerged that this car was being used by Singh. The vehicle earlier belonged to the Delhi CM,” said MS Randhawa, DCP (central).
I am sad about the loss. I appeal to the thieves to give it back. I will even reward the person who gives any information about the vehicle.
NAVEEN JAIHIND, AAP’S Haryana incharge, who used the car for 3 mnths
A police officer not authorised to speak to the media said investigators are clueless about the stolen car or the thief, but have alerted all the check posts in Delhi and are searching the public parking lots. “It is possible that the thief will abandon the car on realising its importance,” said the officer.
The vehicle was synonymous to Kejriwal’s posturing as a ‘people’s chief minister’ along with the trademark muffler, sweater and spectacles during his shift from activism to mainstream politics. From the days of campaigning during his first election in 2013 to becoming the CM, the car remained his choice of commute. The car even featured in AIB music video “Nayak 2 — The Common Man Rises” chronicling Kejriwal’s rise with characteristic humour.
Party’s Uk-based volunteer Kundan Sharma, a software engineer, had donated the car to Kejriwal in January 2013. Upset over the removal of party founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, Sharma had sought the car back in April 2015. Later, he tweeted that it was an attention seeking gesture.
After using it during his famous 49-day-stint, Kejriwal gave it to Naveen Jaihind, the party’s Haryana incharge. “I am sad about the loss. I appeal to the thieves to give it back. I will even reward the person who gives any information about the vehicle,” said Jaihind, who used the car for three months.
The party was, however, quick to blame the lieutenant governor for failing on law and order in Delhi. “The L-G should ensure incidents like this don’t happen,” said AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.
The incident also highlighted the growing menace of car thefts in the national capital where over 110 vehicles are stolen everyday on an average.
The ‘AAP Mobile’ is the same car in which the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal camped and slept in during a protest against the Delhi Police at the Rail Bhawan in 2014.