AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday refused to withdraw his statement in which he had levelled corruption allegations against Union minister Nitin Gadkari after a Delhi court suggested that they “bury the hatchet” and seek an amicable resolution on the criminal defamation complaint filed by the BJP leader.
“Why don’t you shake your hands before the court and finish the matter on an amicable note? Why don’t you bury your hatchet and utilise time in a more productive manner?”, Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha said after both Gadkari and Kejriwal appeared in the court.
“You both are renowned politicians. People look up to you,” the court added.
BJP leader Gadkari said that honesty is his political strength and his reputation is his capital.
“I am an honest politician and damage has been caused to my reputation by the defamatory allegation levelled against me by Kejriwal. I don’t have any personal enmity against Kejriwal,” Gadkari said.
He also told the court that he was ready to resolve the issue if Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal withdraws his statement.
“I am ready to fight the legal battle. Let the inquiry against me proceed and charges be proved against me in public,” he said.
Kejriwal, however, refused to withdraw his statement and allegations which he had levelled against Gadkari.
“I can’t withdraw my statement and allegation. I have documentary proof for all the allegations,” Kejriwal said.
The court will take up the matter again at 1 PM today when it will hear the arguments on framing of notice.
The court had, on May 27, released Kejriwal from jail after he furnished personal bond at the advice of the Delhi High Court.
Kejriwal was earlier summoned as an accused by the court in the defamation complaint in which Gadkari had alleged that he was defamed by the AAP leader who had included his name in the party’s list of “India’s most corrupt”.