IAC men, Congress supporters face off in Uttar Pradesh
Arvind Kejriwal landed in Farrukhabad, UP on Thursday and dared external affairs minister and local MP Salman Khurshid to try and win an election from the constituency. Pankaj Jaiswal reports. Timeline: Kejriwal's rally in Farrukhabadindia Updated: Nov 02, 2012 03:22 IST
Arvind Kejriwal landed in Farrukhabad, UP on Thursday and dared external affairs minister and local MP Salman Khurshid to try and win an election from the constituency. The activist-turned-politician has accused Khurshid’s trust of embezzling Rs. 71 lakh meant for the disabled, and had recently promised to take the fight to his turf.
"If our party, to be announced on November 26 in Delhi, attains any say after the 2014 polls, all corrupt politicians will be taken to court and sent to jail within six months,” he said at his ‘Chalo Farrukhabad’ rally in the city, 184 km northwest of Lucknow.
The event was scheduled for 11am but delayed by two hours due to black-flag protests by Congress supporters.
The police put the crowd's strength at 8,000, comprising mostly youth with a fair smattering of the elderly, ex-servicemen and farmers. Over 600 policemen were deployed.
Picking on Khurshid's comment about Kejriwal leaving Farrukhabad, widely criticized as a veiled threat, the activist said, "You had said how would you return if you reach Farrukhabad. I say look, I have reached and will catch a night train back. While entering you could not do anything. Now you have a few hours left in case you still have those intentions."
Taking up the rally's theme, 'Farrukhabad kiska', he asked the crowd: "So tell me, who does Farrukhabad belong to, you or Khurshid? You are the masters and you elected him to be a servant. But the servant, instead of serving the masters, is fleecing and cheating them. Just like you made his wife Louise loose her deposit in the last assembly elections, reduce him to the same status."
"We never wanted to enter politics," he continued. "All we wanted was a jan lokpal bill to check corruption. But instead of listening to us, they challenged us to enter electoral politics. We accepted it, and here we are."
Kejriwal said the IAC would continue its exposes. "Yesterday, we… exposed Mukesh Ambani's nexus with the government. We will now start telling the nation why prices are rising. We will tell them how unholy nexuses are making prices of power or petrol or diesel and other things go up."
The IAC even held a 'live expose show' at the rally, where it paraded a dozen disabled and even two able-bodied persons who, it claimed, were on the Dr Zakir Husain Memorial Trust's 2009-10 list of beneficiaries but never got any benefits.