Indian Express

Arvind Kejriwal lashes out at BJP for attack on Somnath Bharti

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 Arvind Kejriwal Arvind Kejriwal

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday lashed out at Narendra Modi over the attack on former Delhi Minister Somnath Bharti, questioning if the Gujarat model was about “threatening” people and demanded immediate intervention of the EC to ensure free and fair polls.

Accusing the local administration of not taking action against those involved in the attacks on AAP workers, Kejriwal asked, “What kind of culture BJP is bringing to this holy city.

“This kind of attack is against the tradition and culture of this temple city. Is this Gujarat model where people are either threatened or bought over,” Kejriwal, who is locked in
a high-profile electoral battle against Modi here, told reporters.

Bharti was assaulted last night allegedly by a group of BJP workers at the Assi Ghat area in Varanasi when he went there to participate in an election-related programme.

The former Delhi Chief Minister also accused the  administration of adopting a “partisan” approach towards AAP and claimed that it has not initiated any action against those
involved in the attacks on AAP workers.

“Our supporters are not safe here.This is a fight to finish (Aar Par Ki Ladai). Anything can happen here.For one person (Modi), the administration has closed the entire city
but not heeding to any of our requests,” he said.

The administration has made elaborate security arrangements for filing of nomination by Modi.

Targeting the UP government, Kejriwal said, “It appears that there has been some kind of understanding between Samajwadi Party and BJP.I have done road shows across the
country.But here I have been denied permission to hold road shows.”

Kejriwal said his party colleague Prashant Bhushan will complain to the Election Commission about the assault on Bharti and request it to take steps to ensure free and fair
polls in the city.

Polling will take place in Varanasi on May 12.

“We have doubt whether anti-BJP people will be allowed to vote.Will free and fair polls will be possible in this kind of atmosphere,” the former Delhi Chief Minister said.

The AAP had filed a complaint with the Election Commission against BJP MLA Jyotsana Srivastava on Tuesday accusing her of asking saffron party workers to forcibly drive
out AAP volunteers if they enter the houses of residents here to campaign for Arvind Kejriwal.

Referring to ink attack on him, Kejriwal said, “Why the administration has not been able to ensure safety of a former Chief Minister.Who is the mastermind of these attacks.The
police must find out.”

Ink and eggs were thrown at Kejriwal by unknown persons while he was undertaking a roadshow in Varanasi last month.

The AAP has brought large number of volunteers from Delhi to campaign here and there have been incidents in which they had verbal duels with BJP supporters in many areas in the last few days.

The AAP has started a massive door-to-door campaign in many areas of the city, which according to some AAP leaders, has not gone down well with the BJP which has launched an aggressive campaign to ensure victory of Modi. continued…

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