At the Aam Aadmi Party’s “Tijori Tod Bhanda Fod” rally against the government’s policy of demonetisation in Rohtak, Haryana, a shoe was hurled at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “The shoe did not hit Kejriwal ji,” AAP’s senior leader from Haryana, Navin Jaihind, told the Press Trust of India.
The accused was identified as Vikas Kumar a 26-year-old from the Dadri district in Haryana, who hurled the footwear at the precise moment that Kejriwal referred to the demonetisation policy as a “scam”. The young man was eventually thrashed by local AAP supporters before being taken to the Urban Estate police station.
“He is graduate and unemployed,” a police official told the PTI. “When we questioned him, he said that he was hurt by Kejriwal’s statements on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal issue, which went against Haryana’s interests. At the time of being questioned, the youth did not seem to be in sound mental condition.”
However, The Indian Express also reported that Kumar apologised for his behaviour and hadn’t meant to hit Kejriwal but the symbolic safe that the AAP had place on the stage. The Delhi chief minister took to twitter to vent his anger at the incident and blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the attack.
“I had said Modiji is a coward,” Kejriwal wrote. “He got his stooges to throw shoes at me. Even we can do the same thing but our principles don’t allow us to do such things. Throw shoes at us or have the CBI conduct raids, I will continue to tell the truth about the demonetisation failures and the Sahara-Birla papers controversy.”
On twitter, there were the usual sardonic and/or bitter responses.
Some shows of support.
While a few admitted guilt.
In a theatrical segment of the rally, the Delhi CM unlocked a “Modi tijori” or Modi safe to reveal a file with documents and papers that purportedly contained all the misdeeds of the prime minister. Even by the standards of election campaign melodrama, it was preposterously over the top.
In the rest of his speech (video below), Kejriwal was fiercely critical of the demonetisation policy announced by Modi on November 8. He also questioned why the allegations that Modi had taken money from the Sahara and Birla groups during his tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat had not been investigated.
In April, a shoe was hurled at Kejriwal at a rally in Delhi because the thrower was “angry at the chief minister for not taking action against the irregularities in the allotment of CNG stickers,” according to a report in Mint, which added that “the AAP was quick to blame BJP for the incident with Delhi culture minister Kapil Mishra alleging that the attacker had telephoned a Delhi BJP leader before the incident.”