‘They may even try to take our lives’
Three days after he was attacked by a 19-year-old boy while campaigning in Dakshinpuri area of South Delhi, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal faced another attack on Tuesday — a man slapped him during a roadshow in Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.
The attacker, identified as Laali, a 38-year-old auto-rickshaw driver, first garlanded Kejriwal who was travelling in an open jeep, before slapping him twice. AAP sources said Kejriwal’s eye was bruised in the attack.
Laali was immediately pulled down by AAP supporters and roughed up before being taken away by police. Kejriwal could be seen discouraging his supporters from hitting the attacker.
“Ye kaun log hinsa kar rahe hain? Inko kaun bhej raha hai? Kya kisi ki Prime Minister banane ki ichcha itni prabal ho gayi ki ab woh log hinsa karenge?Agar un logo ko lagta hai ki hum ruk jayenge, to unhe nahi pata hum kis mitti ke banne hai (Who are these who are people perpetrating violence? Who is sending them? Is someone’s desire to become PM so strong that they will get violent? If they feel that we will stop, they don’t know what we are made of,” a visibly upset Kejriwal said in a veiled attack on BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi.
Following the attack, Kejriwal left the roadshow midway and went to Rajghat where he was joined by other AAP leaders, including Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla and Somnath Bharti. Kejriwal meditated there for more than an hour.
“The country’s problems cannot be solved through violence. A democracy does not work with violence, we should follow the path of ahimsa (non-violence)… Mahatma Gandhi is the epitome of truth and non-violence. That is why I went to Rajghat and prayed for patience and strength,” Kejriwal told mediapersons later.
At the various stops he made before the roadshow was abruptly cut off, Kejriwal repeatedly spoke about the attacks on him since the last few days. “In Gujarat, they attacked me with rods and broke my car’s windows. In Bhiwani, meri mukkon se pitai ki. How is it that BJP has never attacked Sonia Gandhi? Why has Modi never been attacked by Congress? Humare par hee humley kyon ho rahe hain? It seems, both parties have created ‘a joint company’,” he said.
Meanwhile, AAP workers alleged the involvement of Anil Jha, BJP MLA from Kirari, in the attack on Kejriwal. Jha refuted the allegations. “Ye party bokhala gayi hai. (AAP has gone berserk). My sources have told me that the attacker was an AAP worker and a resident of Kirari… AAP is just trying to politicize the issue,” Jha said.