Hours after he was attacked during a road show -- the second such incident in a week in Delhi -- Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said he forgave all his attackers and insisted that he did not need any security.
Kejriwal was campaigning for Rakhi Birla, AAP’s northwest Delhi candidate in Sultanpuri block C in an open vehicle when an auto-driver, later identified as Lali, climbed the jeep, garlanded Kejriwal and slapped him tight on his left cheek.
AAP supporters grabbed Lali and thrashed him till the police took him away.
“This was the fifth such attack on me. I forgive all the attackers. My fight is not against any individual but against the system and probably the attackers were themselves victims of the system,” Kejriwal told reporters.
The AAP leader later however questioned who was behind these attacks. He said, “People say the attacks are a result of unkept promises by the AAP. So what were the reasons for similar attacks in Gujarat, Haryana and Varanasi where we are not ruling?”
Later in police custody, Lali claimed that in the initial days when the party had just formed, he along with many other auto-drivers had paid `500 as membership fees even when the party claimed that anyone could become a member at `10 only. He further said that the party was misguiding voters.
Prior to the incident, the road show had started around 10 am from Budh Vihar Phase-2, near Lal Mandir. The neighbourhood comprises mainly Muslims and people from the Valmiki community . These communities had played an important role during the assembly polls in 2013.
Kejriwal greeted a massive crowd. The open jeep carrying Kejriwal and Birla travelled through the narrow streets of Mangolpuri to Sultanpuri, with Kejriwal addressing the supporters from time to time.
“We had given a chance to both BJP and Congress leaders for years but they did nothing. If AAP could bring about so many changes for the benefit of the common man in 49 days, then we are willing to give them another chance,” said Chander Kagada, an MCD sweeper and resident of Sultanpuri.