Harping on the alleged financial irregularities by an NGO headed by Union law minister Salman Khurshid, activist-turned- politician Arvind Kejriwal tried to recreate the days of India Against Corruption’s (IAC) agitations in 2011 on Parliament Street on Sunday.
Although the numbers were no match to the 2011 agitation, scores of people joined the IAC team, which had joined the Rashtriya Vikalang Party’s ongoing agitation for the two days.
The Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, of which Khurshid’s wife is also a project director, was alleged to have swindled funds meant for the disabled in UP.
“This agitation has given us a platform. Earlier, a common man couldn’t speak up,” said Suresh Kumar Sharma, a physically challenged vendor running a shop on Janpath.
Kejriwal posed five questions to the minister and later in the evening, rebutted each of the minister’s replies. “If he (Khurshid) doesn’t want to answer people sitting on the road, the same people will seek answers from him in 2014 elections,” Kejriwal said.
Earlier, at a press conference Khurshid refused to answer questions raised by Kejriwal.
Former law minister Shanti Bhushan also addressed the gathering.
Scores of people from the gathering comprising students, businessmen, service class, housewives, senior citizens and even blue collar professionals waved the tri-colour and donned white caps with Main Aam Admi Hun (I am a common man) and Mujhe Janlokpal Chahiye (I want Janlokpal) inscribed on them.
Anita and Vijay Singh, both government servants, from Rajinder Nagar keenly listened to all the speakers.
“We are the aam aadmi (common man) affected by corruption, we have been supporting anti-graft agitation since last year,” Singh said.
Anna’s Rasoi at Kejriwal’s agitation
A bunch of good samaritans from Rohini had brought in sumptuous khichri for distributing free of cost to the people at the protest venue. They refused to divulge their names and claimed it was a joint effort by several people. About 5,000 people were served khichri.
When asked about the name, one of them said, “It may be Kejriwal’s agitation, for us, it will remain ‘Anna’s Rasoi’.”
Earlier in the day
Earlier in the day, scores of IAC volunteers had gathered at the airport ahead of Khurshid’s arrival from London and also staged protest at his residence on Kushak Road. They shouted sloganst against Khurshid and waved black flags.
Around 15 people were detained from the two protest venues, police said.
Prior to a volley of speakers addressing the gathering on Parliament Street, Kejriwal had led a march of disabled people in electronic rickshaws.