The campaign for Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats, which go to polls on April 10, ended on a dramatic note Tuesday with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal being slapped, yet again, during a road show in Sultanpuri.
Kejriwal was campaigning for AAP’s northwest Delhi candidate Rakhi Birla when an autorickshaw driver climbed atop his vehicle on the pretext of garlanding him and slapped him hard across his face — the second such attack on the former chief minister in four days. Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia tweeted that Kejriwal was injured in his eye and his spectacles fell to the ground following the attack.
A man had slapped Kejriwal in south Delhi’s Dakshinpuri on April 4. He has been attacked with ink, eggs and even stones while campaigning for AAP candidates across the country.
Tuesday’s attacker, 38-year-old Lali, was beaten up by AAP supporters and detained by the police. He accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling promises made to auto drivers — a key support base for AAP during last year’s assembly elections.
“No matter what they do, we will not be deterred from our goals,” Kejriwal said immediately after the incident.
“I am thinking, why am I being repeatedly attacked? Who are the masterminds? What do they want? What do they achieve?” he tweeted.
Kejriwal, who later “meditated” at Rajghat with Sisodia, told reporters at his Tilak Lane residence, “I forgive all my attackers. I still don’t want any security, God is my biggest security.”
In the other camps, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan said the party was “confident of a ‘seven all’ win” while his Congress counterpart Arvinder Singh appealed to Delhiites to turn out in large numbers to vote.
There are 11,763 poll booths across Delhi and 35,000 police personnel will be deployed for smooth conduct of the elections.
This was the second such attack on Kejriwal in the last four days. He was slapped by a 19-year-old man during his campaigning in south Delhi's Dakshinpuri on Friday.
On March 28, Kejriwal, who has time and again refused police security, was attacked and hit on his neck by a man claiming to be a supporter of Anna Hazare during his road show at Charkhi Dadri in Haryana.
The AAP leader and some of his colleagues were victims of an ink attack in Varanasi, earlier in March, where he has challenged the Bharatiya Janata party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. An egg was also hurled at his car outside the famous Vishwanath temple on the same day.
Watch: A mashup of attacks on AAP members