The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to ban Union Home Minister Amit Shah from campaigning for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections for 48 hours. In a letter to the Delhi Electoral Officer, AAP accused Shah of circulating fake videos about the condition of Delhi government schools to defraud the people of the city, NDTV reported.
The party also demanded that the Election Commission register a first information report against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma for allegedly calling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “terrorist”, PTI reported. Verma had said at a rally in Madipur Assembly constituency that “terrorists like Kejriwal are hiding in this country”.
Kejriwal tweeted his anguish. “I gave up everything for the people of Delhi,” he said in Hindi. “After joining politics, I faced many difficulties so that the life of the people could improve. Today in return, the Bharatiya Janata Party is calling me a terrorist ...it is very sad.”
AAP leader Sanjay Singh also hit out at the BJP for targeting the chief minister, asserting that the people of Delhi will give the party a befitting response in the February 8 election for attacking the “son of Delhi”. The party also claimed that Verma and Gautam Gambhir, another BJP MP, made fake videos “on the direction of Amit Shah”.
Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, also claimed that parents whose children study in Delhi government schools were “hurt” by statements made by Shah and other BJP leaders, IANS reported. “The parents of Delhi government school students have decided to file defamation case of Rs 100 crore against Shah,” he said. “The process will start from tomorrow.”
Later, Verma said his statement was distorted by Kejriwal and his party and alleged that the AAP convenor was an expert in “creating drama”. “I called Kejriwal a legendary conman because he lies,” Verma told reporters. “I called him Naxal because he staged dharna to obstruct Republic Day parade and because he supports those raising Pakistan Zindabad slogans in our national capital.”
In its complaint to the Election Commission, AAP said that by equating Kejriwal with “anti-national forces”, Verma has tarnished the image of the chief minister. The party called it a “blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct”.
The Election Commission had earlier in the day ordered that Verma be removed from the BJP’s list of star campaigners. Verma was censured for warning voters in Delhi that “lakhs of protestors” gathering in the city’s Shaheen Bagh locality to demonstrate against the citizenship law would enter their homes to “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them”. Star campaigners are permitted to campaign without their expenses being added to that of the candidates, which are capped.
Elections for all 70 Assembly seats in Delhi will be held on February 8, and the results declared on February 11. In the 2015 polls, AAP had won 67 of the 70 seats. The BJP won just three seats and the Congress none.