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Strongly refuting the charges of vigilantism against his law minister, Somnath Bharti, following his midnight swoop on Ugandan women in a flat in south Delhi’s Khirki Extension, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said his ministers would continue their flying visits.
Our ministers are not here to sit at home,” he told HT. “Don’t make it a diplomatic issue. We are not against any race or country. We are against anti-social elements.”
Kejriwal also expressed shock at the Delhi Police and the union home ministry, which controls the force, for refusing to heed his ministers’ call for action in the “sex and drug racket” in Khirki Extension and in an alleged case of bride burning in Sagarpur.
“Delhi’s chief minister is asking for the suspension of three SHOs (station house officers) and the police commissioner is refusing. Even (union home minister Sushilkumar) Shinde saheb is not ready to suspend them. This makes me wonder if RK Singh (former home secretary) was right? Wasn’t he saying that Shinde accepts money, and it comes through chits? All SHOs claim they give protection money. Now it is clear how they are being protected.”
In the face of a backlash against the Delhi government’s apparent vigilantism, the CM has strongly backed Bharti’s Thursday night raid at Khirki Extension and women and child welfare minister Rakhi Birla’s intervention in the Sagarpur case.
On his future political plans, Kejriwal did not rule out the possibility of contesting the Lok Sabha elections, saying he would do it if his party thought it was important for him to do it — a departure from his earlier stance of not fighting the general elections, which had drawn protests from the Aam Aadmi Party’s national executive.
Kejriwal maintained that corruption and inflation would be the two key issues on which the upcoming polls would be fought. On charges of a Congress-BJP-style personality cult building up in the fledgling AAP, he said, “When they talk about the Aam Aadmi Party, when they talk of Arvind Kejriwal, what do they say? It represents some kind of politics… It represents simplicity and honesty in politics. It represents integrity in politics. What do (Narendra) Modi and Rahul Gandhi represent? This is the change people seek.”
He also warned people against using the AAP tag, and its signature white caps, to barge into hospitals and schools and to create a nuisance. “The topi cannot be a licence for gundagardi and hooliganism,” he said.