Several members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were detained on Wednesday as they protested seeking the resignation of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been arrested in a corruption case.

The protest in the capital New Delhi prompted police efforts to disperse the crowd using water cannons and came a day after the Delhi High Court dismissed a plea challenging Kejriwal's arrest, saying his detention was justified.

Kejriwal, a key opposition leader, was arrested by the financial crime-fighting agency last month on allegations of corruption relating to Delhi's liquor policy, ahead of general elections beginning on April 19 in which Modi is seeking a third term.

He was sent to prison until April 15 and is currently lodged in Tihar jail, where he joined two other senior leaders of his party who were imprisoned in the same case.

Kejriwal filed an appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court on Wednesday but the top court rejected his plea for an urgent hearing, local media reported.

Protesting near the headquarters of Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the capital, BJP members chanted slogans calling the leader "corrupt" and a "thief". Police hauled them into buses and removed them from the spot.

"A government cannot be run from prison ... if Arvind Kejriwal does not resign, the law will do its work," BJP's Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly, told ANI news agency.

AAP leaders, who have maintained that the case against Kejriwal is "fabricated", said he would not resign.

"This is a question of saving India's democracy. (If) Today Kejriwal gives his resignation, AAP will be finished ... all opposition parties of the country will be finished," AAP's Sanjay Singh, who was granted bail in the same case last week, told reporters.

Nearly 30 opposition parties which have formed an alliance called INDIA, of which AAP is a member, have spoken against Kejriwal's arrest, saying such action against opposition groups is aimed at denying them a level playing field in the elections.

BJP and Modi's government have denied the accusations and say enforcement agencies are only doing their job. (Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by YP Rajesh and Devika Syamnath)