Indian Express

Slapgate: Arvind Kejriwal visits auto driver’s home, ‘forgives’ him

I forgave him, Kejriwal said after meeting 38-year-old Lali at his residence in Aman Vihar area of Outer Delhi. Tweet This
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Arvind Kejriwal along with Manish Sisodia, meets the auto-rickshaw driver Lali on Wednesday who slapped him while he was campaigning in Sultanpuri in northwest Delh on Tuesday. (PTI) Arvind Kejriwal along with Manish Sisodia, meets the auto-rickshaw driver Lali on Wednesday who slapped him in Sultanpuri in northwest Delh on Tuesday. (PTI)

In a surprise move ahead of the polling day on Thursday, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday visited the autorickshaw driver who had slapped him at a roadshow in North-West Delhi and said he has “forgiven” the attacker.

“I forgave him,” Kejriwal said after meeting 38-year-old Lali at his residence in Aman Vihar area of Outer Delhi.

Yesterday, Lali had first garlanded Kejriwal and then slapped him hard, leaving him with a swollen eye.

Touched by Kejriwal’s gesture, the autorickshaw driver on Wednesday described Kejriwal as “God” and said he made a “mistake” by attacking the former Chief Minister.

“I have committed a mistake. He is God for me. I did it because he left the government after some days. Government is not just for the Lok Pal bill. There are other important issues also.

“He organized a ‘janta darbar’, I also went in it but could not see him. I tried hard to meet him, my entire day was wasted. I thought I could never meet him again and then I got to know that BJP may form government. Then nothing could be done,” Lali said.

After the attack, Lali had accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling promises made to autodrivers. He was detained by police but was let off as no complaint was lodged either by Kejriwal or AAP against him.

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Kejriwal had called off the roadshow following the incident and headed for Rajghat where he sat for over an hour.

Later at a press conference, Kejriwal had alleged that attacks on him are a part of a “larger conspiracy” and questioned why these were only carried out against him and his party.

“Why do these people attack only us and not others. In future, we will also have more dangerous attacks and life threatening attacks, but we have to be ready to face them and not retaliate,” Kejriwal said. He, however, insisted that he will not accept any security.

This was the third attack on Kejriwal in less than a fortnight.

On March 28, he was attacked by a man, who claimed to be a supporter of Anna Hazare, during his election rally in Haryana.

This was followed by another attack on him in Dakshinpuri area of South Delhi where he was punched by a disgruntled AAP volunteer.

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