Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to “arrest all Aam Aadmi Party leaders at one go” and said that his party members were not afraid of jail.

He made the statement ahead of a protest march by the Aam Aadmi Party to the BJP headquarters in Delhi. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party was protesting against the jailing of its leaders in cases of alleged corruption filed by central investigative agencies.

The demonstration was held a day after the Delhi Police arrested Kejriwal’s aide and former personal assistant Bibhav Kumar for allegedly assaulting Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal. Kejriwal himself was arrested on March 21 in the liquor policy case and is currently out on interim bail.

The Aam Aadmi Party chief on Sunday said: “In the past two years, they [Centre] started arresting our leaders – they arrested me, Sanjay Singh, Manish Sisodia and now, my PA [personal assistant]…Today, I want to tell the prime minister – you are arresting us one by one, today we will all come [to jail].”

Kejriwal added: “You can send us all to jail. Try it out and see if the Aam Aadmi Party gets destroyed or gets even bigger.”

The Delhi chief minister alleged that the BJP was trying to destroy the Aam Aadmi Party because it feared that the outfit could pose a tough challenge to it in several states.

However, Maliwal, in a social media post, alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party had taken to the streets to protect Kumar. She alleged that he tried to destroy digital evidence of the alleged assault on her.

“If only such efforts were taken for [former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia ji,” she said. “Had he been here, perhaps such bad things would not happened to me.”

Case against Kejriwal’s aide

Bibhav Kumar has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).

On May 13, Maliwal, former chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, accused Kumar of assaulting her and went to the police station. The police did not receive a formal complaint from her at the time.

Maliwal, however, gave a statement to the police on May 16, after which the case was filed.

The Aam Aadmi Party had said on May 14 that it would take strict action against Kumar for allegedly “misbehaving” with Maliwal. However, after the case was filed, the party accused the BJP of using Maliwal in the assault case against Kumar to defame Kejriwal.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi accused Maliwal of colluding with the BJP, citing as evidence a video widely shared on social media.