People of Delhiwill decide if I’m their son or terrorist: Kejriwal
Chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday, made an emotional appeal to the people of Delhi to decide whether they consider him their son, a brother or a terrorist. Kejriwal’s statement came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) parliamentarians Parvesh Verma and Manoj Tiwari allegedly called the Delhi CM a “terrorist”.
Dissatisfied with the campaigning ban imposed on Verma for his comments (96 hours), AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Pankaj Gupta staged a sit-in protest outside the office of the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding registration of FIRs against the two BJP leaders. In the evening, the ECI issued a notice to Verma alone for his “terrorist” remark.
In a press conference, earlier Thursday, Kejriwal said his parents, with whom he lives in his Flagstaff Road residence, were “very disappointed” upon listening to the remark.
“All they (parents) had to say was that our son is a patriot and not a terrorist. I have tried to be a son to every family in Delhi and take their responsibility. I now leave it on the people of Delhi to decide whether they consider me their son, their brother, or a terrorist,” Kejriwal said.
“When I completed my engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur, one of the biggest institutes in the country, I had good grades and, if I wanted, I could have gone and worked abroad. Many from my class went abroad, but I remained here thinking we can make the country better. Then I left my job as an income tax officer to be a part of a movement against corruption. Does a terrorist do this?” he said.
The AAP chief spoke about the same issue in his public meetings at Babarpaur, Wazirpur and Shalimar Bagh on Thursday implying that the party will keep stoking the “terrorist” comment by the BJP leader over the next few days of campaigning for the February 8 assembly elections.
“Is it right on the part of the BJP to call an elected chief minister a terrorist? In such a scenario, how will the youth find the courage to join politics?” Kejriwal said in his address to the people of Babarpur constituency.
Kejriwal also reminded people that he exposed corruption cases against some of the biggest and most powerful people in India because of which he had to face dire consequences as multiple cases were registered against him. “I am a diabetic; I take insulin four times a day. If a diabetic person does not eat something every three-four hours, s/he might collapse due to low blood-sugar level. Despite my life being at such high risk, I sat on a hunger protest against corruption twice—once for 10 days and then for 15 days. Every doctor had said that Kejriwal won’t be alive for more than 24 hours. I risked my life for the nation,” he said.
Referring to the police cases against him and the raids conducted by the CBI and the enforcement directorate at his residence and office, Kejriwal said, “In the last five years, they left no stone unturned to trouble me… They did everything they could in their power.”
Throughout the day, celebrity AAP supporters, such as music composer Vishal Dadlani and actor Raghu Ram, released videos on social media condemning the remarks by Verma and Tiwari and urging people to counter the BJP jibe by voting for AAP on February 8. The results for the Delhi assembly polls will be declared on February 11.
Verma and Tiwari did not respond to requests for a comment on the matter.