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Kejriwal to Lead all AAP MPs, MLAs, Leaders to BJP Headquarter to Facilitate their Arrest En Masse

Kejriwal to Lead all AAP MPs, MLAs, Leaders to BJP Headquarter to Facilitate their Arrest En Masse

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 18: The Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday offered to assist the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest his Aam Aadmi Party leaders and workers en masse instead of choosing and picking them one by one.

He said he would lead a morcha of the AAP leaders, its MPs, MLAs and others to the BJP headquarters in Delhi on Sunday to help Mr Modi arrest them all together if he wanted. With folded hands, he said, “I want to tell the Prime Minister: You are playing this game of arresting people one at a time. Tomorrow, I will go to the BJP headquarters at noon with all my senior leaders, MLAs and MPs. Jail whoever you want, do it all at once. You think you can crush the AAP by jailing its leaders. The party will not be crushed like this, try it if you want.”

“The Aam Aadmi Party is a thought that has found its place in the hearts of people across the country. Hundreds of leaders will be born for every AAP leader you throw in jail,” he added.

It was Mr Kejriwal’s first reaction after his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar was arrested on charges of assault levelled against him by the former Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, which the AAP had claimed to be a “framed up case” at the behest of the BJP “blackmailing” the AAP Rajya Sabha member.

In a video message in Hindi on Saturday, Mr Kejriwal said, “You are seeing how these people have been after the Aam Aadmi Party. One after the other, they have been putting our leaders in jail. They jailed me, (former deputy chief minister) Manish Sisodia, (former minister) Satyendar Jain, (Rajya Sabha MP) Sanjay Singh, and now they have arrested my personal assistant today.”

The Aam Aadmi Party chief, who is out on interim bail until June 2 for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls, claimed that the BJP now planned to arrest his party’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, who returned from London after an eye surgery and met him earlier in the day. Delhi Ministers Saurabh Bhardwaj and Atishi are also their targets, he claimed.

Repeating a charge he has made several times in the past, Mr Kejriwal said the AAP’s only crimes were that it had built great government schools and mohalla clinics and provided free and uninterrupted electricity, which the BJP would not be able to do. Bibhav Kumar was arrested earlier on Saturday for allegedly assaulting Ms Maliwal at the chief minister’s residence on Monday. The Rajya Sabha MP had alleged Mr Kumar had kicked her in the chest, stomach and pelvic area and had brutally “dragged her and pulled her shirt up.”

The issue has now become the focal point of a political storm, with the BJP and the AAP trading charges on how women have been treated by both parties. Ms Maliwal, who says she has been associated with Mr Kejriwal for two decades, is also battling it out with the AAP, which has said she was being used as a political pawn by the BJP.

A Delhi court, meanwhile, rejected Bibhav Kumar’s anticipatory bail as “infructuous” after the advocate for the Delhi police informed the court that Mr Kejriwal’s PA had already been arrested when the court was discussing the anticipatory bail plea.

Additional Sessions Judge Sushil Anuj Tyagi, while dictating the order to the court staff on the anticipatory bail plea, noted that Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Kumar Srivastava appeared through videoconferencing around 4.45 p.m. and informed the court that Kumar has already been arrested in the case.

“On court query, the additional public prosecutor for the state submitted that the applicant was arrested at about 4.15 p.m.,” the judge said. The judge noted Mr Srivastava’s submissions that Mr Kumar’s wife had been duly informed about his arrest. “Since, the applicant (Kumar) has already been arrested, the present application is disposed of being infructuous,” the court said.



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