The Twitter war between Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday took things to another level when Delhi chief minister Kejriwal, in his reply to Amarinder’s tweet, agreed to an open debate, though not for himself.
I accept ur challenge sir. I suggest 4 names- H S Phoolka, Jarnail Singh, Bhagwant or Gurpreet. Speaker, date, time, place of ur choice https://t.co/lYrOMgEET3— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 24, 2016
Kejriwal suggested four names: “I suggest 4 names- H S Phoolka, Jarnail Singh, Bhagwant or Gurpreet. (sic)”.
In his response, Amarinder accused the Delhi CM of “hiding behind others.”
Punjabis believe in leading from the front,not hiding behind others.Or have you already accepted that you can't face me for a public debate? https://t.co/PV8jvsG9EH— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) October 24, 2016
At this, Kejriwal replied again, saying he was ready for debate with Congress national president Sonia Gandhi or vice-president Rahul Gandhi, while the AAP’s Punjab leaders would debate Amarinder.
I am not hiding behind anyone sir. I am ready for a debate with Rahul ji or Sonia ji anytime. Our punjab team will debate wid u. https://t.co/EeSqHHZLss— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 24, 2016
Amarinder was not amused. Saying that Kejriwal had “chickened out”, he shot back accusing him of not behaving like an “aam aadmi” (common man), and of only wanting to debate “PM & Presidents of parties!”.
So you've chickened out!You're the'Aam Aadmi' who levels allegations on everyone bt wud like to engage only with PM & Presidents of parties! https://t.co/YNBR7T7XNM— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) October 24, 2016
But Kejriwal did not stop. He tweeted in reply, this time in Hindi, saying that it “would’ve been good if Amarinder had agreed to a debate with the AAP Punjab team”. He also wondered why “army of BJP supporters” was “defending” Amarinder, apparently taking a dig at the Twitter responses to the challenge.
सर, अच्छा होता आप हमारी पंजाब टीम से debate को तैयार हो जाते। ख़ैर, आपकी मर्ज़ी। पर सर, सारी BJP की फ़ौज आपको क्यों defend कर रही है? https://t.co/lMcudF31O9— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 24, 2016
The duo had locked horns on social media after the AAP chief accused the Congress’ Punjab CM hopeful of using “drug money” in his campaign.
Singh put out a stinging response to Kejriwal, saying he was “hallucinating” and seeing things that “don’t exist”. The two leaders have been increasingly trading barbs on Twitter as the Assembly election nears.
“Sir, ppl talking in Punjab that u using (Bikram Singh) Majithia’s drug money in ur campaign. Is it true? U had saved him from CBI enquiry 3 yrs back (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.
Sir, ppl talking in Punjab that u using Majithia's drug money in ur campaign. Is it true? U had saved him from CBI enquiry 3 yrs back https://t.co/RysiDptHT4— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 24, 2016
Majithia is Punjab’s revenue minister.
The Punjab Congress chief was quick to respond, saying Kejriwal was “seeing stars during the day”.
“When your hopes crash from 100 to 30 & still sliding, you’re bound to hallucinate & see things that don’t exist,” Singh tweeted.
When your hopes crash from 100 to 30 & still sliding,you're bound to hallucinate & see things that don't exist.आपको दिन में तारे दिख रहे हैं https://t.co/e9yfDIrBd4— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) October 24, 2016
Kejriwal has been alleging a “nexus” between Congress and the ruling Akalis in poll-bound Punjab. He has dubbed Singh their “joint chief ministerial candidate”.
“Sir, Badals closed corruption cases against u just a few months before elections. Why? Punjab asking what’s the deal?” Kejriwal had tweeted yesterday, responding to which Singh asked the AAP chief to “set his own house in order, before he sets his sights on Punjab”.
Kejriwal was referring to Punjab Vigilance Bureau’s clean chit to Singh in his alleged role in the Amritsar Improvement Trust land scam case. (PTI inputs)