Wednesday’s clash between workers of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the streets of the national capital has hit the image of the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit, a web poll conducted by HT showed on Thursday.
Seventy-one per cent of the 8,183 respondents polled by 8pm on Thursday believed the AAP's image took a beating after the violence outside the headquarters of the saffron party in New Delhi.
Clashes also broke out between workers of the two parties in five other towns after Kejriwal was briefly detained by police in a north Gujarat town on Wednesday.
Protests by AAP workers outside the New Delhi BJP office snowballed into a clash when BJP activists allegedly threw stones at them and the protestors retaliated. While both sides hurled chairs and sticks at each other, police intervened, using water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Of those who took the poll conducted on HT’s website, 28% believed the violent ways of the AAP did not tarnish the image of the party. Kejriwal on Thursday admitted his supporters had indulged in violence and promised such a mistake would not be repeated in the future. Non-violence was the essence of politics, he insisted as he spoke in Gujarat.
With the AAP having stirred the sentiments of the people — in ways good and bad — only 2% of those polled were unsure what to make of the AAP engaging the BJP violently.
The AAP slammed the Delhi police for not registering FIR against BJP leaders and workers after the violent clash between the workers of the two political parties.
"They pelted stones and attacked us, so why has the police not registered any FIR against the BJP leaders," AAP leader Shazia Ilmi told reporters after coming out of police interrogation at the Parliament Street police station.
Ilmi and AAP leader Ashutosh were summoned for questioning by the Delhi Police on Thursday. A court earlier gave bail to 14 AAP activists arrested on charges of rioting outside the BJP office even as the AAP accused police of bias.