Aam Aadmi Party leaders were allegedly attacked by a mob in Gujarat’s Junagadh district on Wednesday, NDTV reported. The incident took place during a campaign tour as the AAP is looking to expand its presence in states like Gujarat and Punjab, where Assembly elections will be held next year.
AAP members blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the attack, and said 10 people were injured. “They [BJP workers] tried to stop AAP’s procession,” the party claimed. “A mob of more than 70 people from the ruling party attacked AAP leaders and workers in Junagadh.”
The saffron party, however, denied the accusations. “None of our party workers are involved in this,” BJP’s district president Kirit Patel told reporters, according to PTI. “A group of people from an organisation were protesting against the AAP with placards on the road. When the convoy reached them, some AAP members in the cars abused them, after which they got agitated and a clash followed.”
AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he has spoken to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani about the incident. “Urged him to file FIR [first information report], arrest the culprits, ensure strong action against culprits and ensure protection of AAP leaders and workers,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The AAP leader also referred to the municipal election held in February this year, when the party had won 27 seats in the Surat Corporation and emerged as the main opposition party in the local civic body.
He also wrote that if his party leaders like Isudan Gadhvi and Mahesh Sawani are being attacked openly, then “no one is safe in Gujarat”. “This violence is your [BJP’s] anger, your defeat,” he added. “Win the hearts of people by giving them good facilities, don’t scare them by attacking the Opposition. These people are not afraid.”
On June 14, Kejriwal had announced that the AAP will contest all 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections in 2022. He stressed that his party would emerge as a real alternative to the BJP.