A tweet by Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal that there was a possibility of violence at the hands of BJP when he arrives in Varanasi on March 25 has upped the political tension in Varanasi. While AAP claimed that their workers were being constantly targeted and threatened by BJP supporters, BJP dismissed it as stunt to garner attention.
“BJP planning smthng (sic)?,” reads the Kejriwal’s tweet. The tweet was in response to allegations that the AAP leader may “create a drama” by indulging in violence during the Varanasi rally.
AAP spokesperson Ramanand Rai, meanwhile, alleged that the latest example of high-handedness on the part of the BJP was causing chaos during a nukkad natak at Assi Ghat in Varanasi on Sunday evening. “They (BJP supporters) created problems and disturbed the programme. Our leader Alka Lamba had to escape to a place of safety. We have complained to the authorities in this regard,” said Rai. However, no FIR has been registered.
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Rai insisted that BJP workers have been aggressive for the past several days and do not hesitate in engaging in verbal slurs and physical confrontations at the slightest pretext. It was alleged that an elder AAP worker was roughed up at Shaheed Udyan in Sigra area Sunday, but BJP claimed that it was their office-bearer, who was hit by ‘AAP topi (cap) wearing men’.
BJP spokesperson Ashok Pandey said, “Remember what happened when Kejriwal tweeted in Gujarat and violence occurred in Delhi. Investigations proved that it was AAP which resorted to violence. We are just not interested in giving them any attention. Who knows if Kejriwal tweets again tomorrow and something happens in Delhi?”
Recalling the nukkad natak incident, Pandey said, “It was a group of BHU students, who were present at the ghat, with whom these people picked up an argument. BJP has got nothing to do with it.”
BJP district president Azad Singh Gautam said, Varanasi is not a city that had patience for improper language. “He must say what he has to say in a proper manner. Otherwise, the people of this city can give him a lesson or two. People will not tolerate easily what he has been saying in rallies so far,” he said.