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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Does Kejriwal's 'aam aadmi' image make him easy target?

Ipsit Mohapatra, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 08, 2014
First Published: 20:24 IST(8/4/2014) | Last Updated: 02:14 IST(9/4/2014)

Is Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal being repeatedly attacked because he is easy meat in more ways than one?

First, his “common man” pitch may be responsible for generating the confidence that you can get away with it; and second (tied to the first), his refusal to accept security cover.

Kejriwal is not the first or only politician to be targeted, but the attacks on him are unerring in their frequency.

Here’s a look at the unholy trend of slaps, punches, shoe and ink attacks that have entered the Indian political scenario.

April 4: Kejriwal is slapped during a roadshow in New Delhi’s Dakshinpuri area. APP supporters rough up the attacker before the police take him into custody.

March 28: Kejriwal is attacked and hit on his neck by a man during his roadshow at Charkhi Dadri in Haryana.

March 25: Eggs are thrown at Kejriwal’s car outside Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. He also faces an ink attack.

Kejriwal’s party colleague Yogendra Yadav too has faced an ink attack.

Read: Kejriwal refuses security cover after being attacked again

Others targeted
Jan 23, 2012: One Kuldip throws shoe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Dehradun. The shoe falls 10 metres short. As Congress workers surround Kuldip, Gandhi is heard saying, “don’t hit him.”

Nov 24, 2011: Harvinder Singh, a transporter from west Delhi's Rohini, slaps Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. He claims he is agitated by rising prices and corruption.

April 7, 2009: Journalist Jarnail Singh hurls a shoe at the then Union home minister P Chidambaram, protesting injustice meted out to the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. There is a twist to this tale. Singh, who lost his job, is now the AAP candidate from West Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

More such attacks have taken place in India. Shoe throwing is largely believed to a copycat move, taking off from Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s attack on US President George W Bush in December 2008.

Full coverage: Kejriwal, a common man in politics

Watch: A mashup of attacks on AAP members


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