Even as the Delhi government chose to ignore the ongoing agitations against “inflated” electricity bills, the Bharatiya Janata Party made a U-turn of sorts and termed anti-corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal “a Congress agent” and sought “public apology” from him for “hijacking” its (BJP’s) movement.
A file photo of activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal.
“Arre chhodiye (forget it),” was all chief minister Sheila Dikshit told journalists when asked to comment on Kejriwal’s protests. But a day after inviting Kejriwal to “join hands in protest against inflated power bills in the Capital”, the BJP minced no words.
Upset at Kejriwal’s “attempts to hijack” a BJP protest at the office of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Monday, party general secretary Vijay Goel told Hindustan Times, “I let him share the stage and speak out of courtesy. He wanted to vitiate the atmosphere. But for my patience, party workers could have gone berserk against him for his audacity.”
“We have been raising several issues, including those of electricity, water, unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters for the last several years. Where was Kejriwal then?,” he asked.
“He came an hour before his schedule. He didn’t even meet the DERC chairperson. He was there only for making mischief,” he said.
Responding to Kejriwal’s charges that the BJP had not done anything to “check the wrongdoings” of the Sheila Dikshit government, which led to the current situation, Goel said, “Who is Kejriwal to question us? He started protests only three days ago and restored two power connections and he thinks he is leading the agitation.”
He said Kejriwal was a “Congress agent” and his criticism of the opposition party (BJP) was aimed at weakening the agitation against the inflated power bills. “He is attacking political parties and individuals to further his political cause,” he said.
On Monday, Kejriwal shared the stage at the DERC office with the BJP but blamed the party for not making public a DERC order that was in favour of reducing power tariffs. Kejriwal then said, “We have nothing to do with the BJP or the Congress. The BJP was collaborating with the Congress to loot the people.”