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'Attack on Delhi & Its Mandate': AAP Claims Conspiracy After Arvind Kejriwal Slapped At Roadshow

According to the police, the man has been identified as 33-year-old Suresh, who deals in spare parts and lives in Kailash Park.


Updated:May 5, 2019, 8:05 AM IST

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was slapped by a man during a roadshow in Moti Nagar in New Delhi constituency. Kejriwal was holding the roadshow in favour of New Delhi candidate Brijesh Goyal contesting from the Lok Sabha seat.

This is the second time Kejriwal has been slapped in a public rally. Earlier, he has also been attacked with ink and chilli powder.

According to the police, the man who slapped Kejriwal has been taken into the custody and an investigation is underway.

Kejriwal was on top of an open jeep when a man wearing a red T-shirt jumped onto the vehicle and slapped him. DCP (West) Monika Bhardwaj said the man has been identified as Suresh, 33, and he deals in spare parts in Kailash Park.

After the incident, a war of words broke out between Kejriwal's party and the BJP. While most Opposition leaders condemned the incident, others, including Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, alleged that the incident was "scripted". The script got murkier when the attacker's political affiliation were called into question — while a relative of the attacker claimed he was not affiliated to any party, another alleged he was a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as the Delhi Police claimed he was a former AAP worker who had become increasingly "disgruntled" with the party.

The Aam Aadmi Party in a tweet said the incident was not just an assault on Kejriwal but also an attack on Delhi and its mandate.

Condemning the attack, Deputy Chief Minister Minister Sisodia criticised the central government. "Do (PM Narendra) Modi and Amit Shah now want to assassinate Kejriwal?" he asked in a tweet.

Sisodia said the BJP would be unable to break Kejriwal's morale or defeat him in elections in five years despite putting in all its might. "Now you want him removed form your way like this. You cowards! This Kejriwal is your end," he said in another tweet.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the ensuring the safety of the Delhi chief minister came under the ambit of the central government.

"The Delhi Chief Minister's security is under the Modi government, but Arvind Kejriwal is the most unsafe person in the city. Is there a conspiracy behind such attacks?" he asked.

The party's Lok Sabha candidate Atishi said the attack indicated the level to which the BJP could fall.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that the BJP might be behind the attack and asserted the incident would not deter the party's spirit. "Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal got attacked during the roadshow. We condemned this cowardly act. This opposition sponsored attack cannot stop the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi," he said.

In a statement later, the Aam Aadmi Party said Kejriwal has been attacked several times “in a systematic and clearly visible pattern”.

“Many of the attackers in the past have had proven links with the BJP,” it said. “The wife of today’s attacker also confirmed that he is a Modi ‘bhakt’ (supporter).”

The party also accused the Delhi Police of "deliberately lowering its guard to make the chief minister vulnerable to attacks".

"An attacker coming so close to CM could have had a pistol or knife. Undoubtedly, the Modi government is out to get the CM killed in such attacks," the statement added.

However, the Delhi Police said preliminary interrogation revealed that the attacker has been a supporter of AAP and used to work as an organiser of the party's rallies and meetings.

"As per his version, over a period of time he got disenchanted due to the behaviour of its leaders. He got further angry due to distrust of the party in the armed forces," the police said in a statement.

While BJP Delhi president Manoj Tiwari condemned the incident, he claimed the AAP might have "scripted" the incident.

"We do not support violence and condemn such action by anyone. But I have doubt as to why such incidents happen with Kejriwal in election time only," he alleged. "I doubt this incident may have been scripted by Kejriwal himself."

(With inputs from PTI)

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