Kejriwal should prove I am corrupt or resign: Sibal
The Union minister on Saturday said he would quit politics if Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal could prove he was corrupt. Kejriwal on Friday stirred a controversy by naming top politicians including Rahul Gandhi, Nitin Gadkari, Mayawati, Sharad Pawar and Sibal as 'corrupt'.india Updated: Feb 01, 2014 19:53 IST
Arvind Kejriwal's list of "corrupt" politicians evoked sharp reactions on Saturday, with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming down heavily on the Delhi chief minister.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader on Friday had accused several bigwigs of Indian politics — including Rahul Gandhi, Kapil Sibal, Sushilkumar Shinde and Nitin Gadkari — of being corrupt, declaring to field candidates against them in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who is the minister of communication and information technology, said he would resign if Kejriwal could substantiate his claims. Otherwise, Kejriwal should quit for labelling baseless accusations, he added.
"I am surprised that a person holding the CM's post is making such allegations against me. I will give him two days time to collect evidence.
"If he is able to prove his accusations against me, I will resign from my post and quit politics. But if he is making baseless allegations, then he must leave his position," Sibal said.
A few months ago, the AAP had alleged that Sibal had a "conflict of interest" in the case involving Vodafone as his lawyer son Amit "continues to defend" Hutchison, which had a partnership with the British telecom major.
Amit had denied the allegations, saying the last time he had appeared for the company was in 2010 when Sibal was neither the telecom minister nor the law minister.
Besides, the IT minister, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, finance minister P Chidambaram and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde featured in Kejriwal's list from the Congress party.
The BJP also trained its guns on the AAP. Former party president Nitin Gadkari reportedly slapped a legal notice on the Delhi chief minister.
TV reports said Gadkari had asked Kejriwal to withdraw his comments within three days — failing which the Delhi chief minister may face legal actions.
Read: Will go to court and answer Kejriwal, says Abdullah
Yoga guru Ramdev, known to be close to the saffron party, also hit out at Kejriwal for calling certain politicians corrupt "without any proof".
"AAP has lost its sense and also Kejriwal, who termed (BJP leader Nitin) Gadkari corrupt in order to prove himself as an honest person. He is trying to portray himself as honest and all other leaders as dishonest. That is bad," Ramdev told reporters in Jammu.
Addressing an AAP meeting on Friday, Kejriwal had said, "I have prepared a list of dishonest (politicians) of the country."
The list also featured the likes of SP supremo Mulayam Singh, BSP chief Mayawati, Union ministers GK Vasan, Salman Khurshid, Veerappa Moily, Prakash Jaiswal, Kamal Nath and Pawan Bansal, and Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, among others.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is accused of propagating dynastic politics and BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi faces the allegation of criminalisation of politics.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) also lashed out at Kejriwal. "Such words for netaji (Mulayam), who has a long history of public service and struggle, can only come from an 'adh-kachra' politician," party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhary said.
First Published: Feb 01, 2014 15:54 IST