New Delhi: On a day fraught with hostility, Arvind Kejriwal's car was attacked and its windscreen cracked as his convoy passed through Kutch in Gujarat this evening. The Aam Aadmi Party leader is touring the state for what he calls an audit of chief minister Narendra Modi's governance.
AAP alleged that BJP workers carrying black flags to protest against Mr Kejriwal, attacked the car with the sticks that the flags were tied on to, as the AAP chief was driving through Kharohi village of Kutch district. (Blog: On the road in Gujarat with Arvind Kejriwal)
The windscreen of the car was shattered on the driver's side. Mr Kejriwal sat in the front next to driver. His retinue of supporters clashed with the protesters.
There were clashes between AAP and BJP workers also in Delhi and in Lucknow triggered by Mr Kejriwal's brief detention at the Radhanpur police station about 170 km from Ahmedabad on the way to Bhuj. Mr Kejriwal has attributed what he describes as his harassment in Gujarat to the orders of Mr Modi, the BJP's candidate for prime minister. (See pics | Read)
The Gujarat Police later said they were unable to prevent the attack on Mr Kejriwal's car because he had not informed them about his itinerary. Kutch Superintendent of Police Deepak Meghani said they had positioned adequate security along the route Mr Kejriwal was expected to take, but he changed his route at the last minute.
There was only one police vehicle escorting Mr Kejriwal's car when it was attacked.
The police have not registered a First Information Report or FIR but have filed an "occurrence report"; they said Mr Kejriwal did not want to pursue the matter. Mr Meghani said a search was on for those who attacked the car.
Mr Kejriwal landed in Gujarat this morning. The former tax inspector says his assessment so far is that Mr Modi has exaggerated his claims of development in his 13 years of governing Gujarat. The BJP and Mr Modi have made the development of Gujarat the centre-piece of his campaign.