The Weekend Leader - After a slap, Kejriwal fears threat to life

After a slap, Kejriwal fears threat to life

New Delhi


AAP leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said he faced a threat to life after being slapped by a man while campaigning for his party here.

"These attacks are scripted. When they (attackers) are arrested, they repeat the (same) script," Kejriwal told the media after being attacked by an auto-rickshaw driver who first garlanded the AAP leader.

The attacker then gave a whacking slap, stunning Kejriwal.

"Why are all the attacks taking place only on us?" Kejriwal later asked. "There will be more attacks, and we can also get killed."

The attack in Sultanpuri, a dominantly low-income area in west Delhi, left the 45-year-old Kejriwal with a swollen left eye.

The attacker was identified as 38-year-old Lali, an autorickshaw driver. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters roughed him up after the incident.

On April 4, Kejriwal was punched in south Delhi by a teenager who too pretended to garland him.

Tuesday's assault took place when Kejriwal, who was Delhi's chief minister for 49 days until Feb 14, was campaigning for AAP candidate Rakhi Birla. Delhi goes to polls Thursday.

A party member told IANS that there was a growing feeling among party members that Kejriwal should accept the security a former chief minister is entitled to.

In a quick tweet, Kejriwal asked: "Why am I being repeatedly attacked? Who (are) the masterminds? What do they want? What do they achieve?"

He added philosophically: "...let them tell me (the) place n time. I will come there. Let them beat me as much as they want."

Kejriwal further said in Hindi: "The way to truth is difficult, but ultimately truth prevails."

The AAP leader, a former government official-turned-activist, later said that there was no place for violence in a democratic society.

"This is the fifth attack on me in a month... Those who are attacking me are the victims of the system. I have no ill feeling towards them."

"These attacks are scripted. When they (attackers) are arrested, they repeat the (same) script."

Asked whey he was being targeted, he said the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party had spoiled the "setting" between various political parties.

But he refused to accept security normally available to senior politicians.

"I don't want security. As long as god wants me to live, no one can harm me. The day god feels my time is over, I will die, no one can stop that."

The attacker denounced Kejriwal as a "liar" and said both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were better than the AAP.

The BJP denied it was responsible, while the Congress accused Kejriwal of "scripting" the attack on him to remain in news.

"It was a premeditated attack. He got it done since he wants to be in news," Congress' Delhi unit spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said at a press conference.

AAP leader and Kejriwal confidant Manish Sisodia said such attacks cannot be stopped by beefing up security.

Without naming anyone, he said that those attacking Kejriwal were getting money. "The last attack was a paid one. I don't know who are behind such incidents." - IANS

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