A day after Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal asked his party-men to gear up for an “ugly battle” with the powers that be through a video message, his maiden appearance in a defamation case in Amritsar court on Friday has been turned into a major political event.
The party has given an open call to all its workers and supporters to reach the Amritsar Circuit House (where he is staying) by 9am to show solidarity with their “beleaguered” leader.
Kejriwal landed in Amritsar on Thursday evening and will be appearing in the district courts in a defamation case filed by revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia. Majithia has dragged Kejriwal and other AAP leaders to court for tarnishing his family’s reputation on the issue of drugs.
Kejriwal’s visit comes at a time when he is hitting back at the Modi-led BJP government at the Centre for indulging in “oppressive vendetta politics”, targeting his MLAs and putting them behind bars on various accounts. And in Amritsar, Kejriwal is looking at the perfect setting to send a strong message to his opponents. He intends to play the ideal victim of vendetta politics, who is paying a price for standing up against ‘repression’ of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in the state, but with the multitude on his side.
The district police are gearing up for the hearing which is likely to take the shape of an impromptu rally and the AAP is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all roads lead to Amritsar. The party’s social media channels are constantly calling supporters to reach Amritsar and leaders across the state have been asked to muster crowds for the “event”. The masses that gather in Amritsar tomorrow could prove to be a turning point in the rookie party’s eventful journey towards the assembly polls early next year.
The show in Amritsar also becomes significant in terms of it being touted as an anti-Majithia “outpouring” of public sentiment. The AAP has used the defamation case against its leaders as an opportunity to launch a scathing attack on Majithia. In the past week, AAP supporters and some who seem like election ticket hopefuls have put up posters at several places in the state ‘vouching’ that the allegations levelled against Majithia are true. In these posters, the AAP supporter/leader is openly challenging the police to nab him for saying so, adding that Majithia should file a defamation suit against him as well.
The party has also widely circulated a telephone number asking people who believed that allegations against Majithia are true to give a missed call to register their response. The efforts of the party are also visible on the social media where anti-Majithia sentiment was trending this morning.
Besides Kejriwal, the party’s in-charge in Punjab Sanjay Singh and it’s Delhi dialogue commission vice-chairman Ashish Khetan will be appearing. The suit was filed on May 20 under Sections 499, 500, 34, 120-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure and court summons were handed over to Kejriwal two days ago.
In the evening, Kejriwal will be visiting the Dalit family allegedly beaten up by cops at Sukhera Bodla village in Jalalabad, the deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s constituency.