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Kejriwal ‘formally’ invites Sheila for open debate at a public place

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 24, 2013
First Published: 13:12 IST(24/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:03 IST(25/10/2013)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday “formally” invited Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for an open debate.

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Kejriwal said the debate should take place at a public place where people can also participate and directly ask questions. He said though the chief minister had refused his earlier offer for a public debate, he decided to invite her formally this time.

In a letter to Dikshit, Kejriwal said, “I am writing you this letter as some of the editors suggested that I should invite you formally... If you find it right, then we should ask Dr Harsh Vardhan to participate on behalf of the BJP.”

The invitation came days after she told a TV news channel that she was ready for a debate with the AAP leader if he formally wrote to her.

The AAP leader said he had asked her for an open debate on several occasions as he believed that debates should be held among the parties participating in elections, but she had refused.

He said if the chief minister was ready for a debate, they can sit and decide on its form.

“My only suggestion is that such debate should not be held in a television studio but in a public space such as Ramlila Maidan where citizens of Delhi can come and directly ask questions,” Kejriwal said.

“Why is Sheila Dikshit is scared of a debate? BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan, she and I can debate among people,” he added.

Dikshit, however, chose not to respond to questions on accepting Kejriwal’s challenge.

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