Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's political secretary has sent activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal a defamation notice for calling the Congress leader "dalal" (broker) on a TV show.
"The language used by Mr Kejriwal is malicious and mischievous," Pawan Khera told news channel CNN-IBN after sending the notice. Khera said he has worked with Dikshit for 15 years and felt "personally hurt" by Kejriwal's language. Khera demanded that Kejriwal take back his comment in two days or face legal action.
"The notice regarding legal action comes in the light of derogatory remarks by Shri Kejriwal, meant to maliciously defame the chief minister and thus all those working in close proximity with her," said Khera. Khera's notice, which is signed by Delhi lawyer Mehmood Pracha, accuses Kejriwal of defaming Dikshit "on three prominent channels and newspapers". It demands an "unconditional public apology" from Kejriwal and warns him to "refrain" from making allegations.
Kejriwal, who is protesting outside power distribution company BSES's office in Delhi, refused to apologise or take back his comment. "It's Dikshit's actions and not my words which are giving her a bad name," he said.
"We will defame you till the time you continue with corruption," said Kejriwal about Dikshit after getting the legal notice. "I would like to tell her (Dikshit) that 'we will be defaming you as long as you and your government keep working against the people. We are not scared of any legal notice'."
Kejriwal alleges the Dikshit government has increased power bills in Delhi to profit electricity companies. In July, he restored power connection at a Delhi resident's where supply had been cut off over an unpaid bill of Rs. 15,000.
Kejriwal, leader of India Against Corruption, has accused businessman Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, and the DLF realty group of wrongdoing in land deals. The Congress on Sunday rejected his challenge that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi answer his allegations and debate with him.
"Any of our block-level spokespersons are more than enough to deal with these insinuations and allegations cacophony," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari. "Kejriwal, like his guru from Gujarat (Modi), always attempts to punch above his weight."