East Delhi Congress candidate Sandeep Dikshit on Thursday hit out at V K Malhotra for his comment on Batla House and Jamia Nagar, and demanded an apology from the BJP leader within 48 hours.
“V K Malhotra’s views exposed the mindset of the BJP,” Dikshit said, while promising to hold a demonstration in front of the BJP office on Monday if Malhotra failed to tender an apology.
On Tuesday, Malhotra — the Delhi BJP election committee chairman — had called areas such as Batla House and Jamia Nagar “hubs for terrorists”. He had also said terror modules were being run from such areas and police could not conduct searches there as “extremists do not allow them to enter”.
Demanding an apology to the residents of Jamia Nagar and Batla House, Dikshit said, “In case he refuses to apologise, I, along with DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely and other workers of the Congress, will hold a dharna outside the BJP office on Monday.”
Malhotra also came under heavy criticism from other Congress members. “We strongly condemn the statement given by him… he is nobody to make such a statement ahead of elections. He is trying to spread communal enmity in Delhi…,” Subhash Chopra, chairman of the Congress campaign committee, said.
Former MLA and DPCC spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said, “BJP is once again raking up the issue of mandir-masjid. Malhotra’s comments target a particular community. If Malhotra doesn’t apologise, the party will protest against him.”
Meanwhile, members of the Delhi Congress upped the ante against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as well. A former AAP member, and a close aide of Arvind Kejriwal, accused the AAP chief of back-tracking on promises made to party workers.
Maulana A B Ashrafi, who, along with 150 AAP workers and 500 auto-rickshaw drivers joined the Congress on Thursday, said, “Kejriwal used to treat me like his father… He had said he would work without discriminating among castes. However, once he formed the government, he backed out of all the promises he had made.”
Making a veiled attack on the two parties, Lovely said, “Congress is a secular party and we do not change the party’s agenda… we never compromise on our ideology for the sake of votes. Delhi has seen the work of all the parties and they are wise enough to choose.”
AAP a tamasha party, says J P Agarwal
Sitting Congress MP Jai Prakash Agarwal launched an attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during his campaign trail in Sonia Vihar and Mustafabad area on Thursday, calling the Arvind Kejriwal-led party a “tamasha” party. “AAP doesn’t know how to govern, they only need media attention. It is a tamasha party,” he said.
Agarwal embarked on a padyatra and held around 60 corner meetings in the area. “I have done a lot for the constituency but there is a lot to be done and my aim is to deliver on my promises. Delhi has seen how they (AAP) ran away from responsibilities when given a chance to serve,’ he said.
Agarwal will contest against BJP’s actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari from the Northeast Delhi seat.