New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal, who founded a new political party this month, was arrested this afternoon in Delhi with his supporters, including some with special needs, as they marched towards the Prime Minister's house. Mr Kejriwal's supporters punctured a tyre of the bus that was leading him away, prompting his transfer to another vehicle.
As he was being driven away, Mr Kejriwal said, "Those who fight corruption are being jailed. And a corrupt minister is free."
He was referring to Law Minister Salman Khurshid. Mr Kejriwal and those who marched with him today - "turn this into Tahrir Square" he said as they gathered at Jantar Mantar in the capital - are demanding the Law Minister's removal for alleged financial malpractices by an NGO that is headed by him and is meant to help special-needs people in his home state of Uttar Pradesh.
Mr Kejriwal wanted the Prime Minister to meet differently-abled people today, but was refused an appointment. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that the request for the meeting was made this morning, and that the Prime Minister had a full day.
Mr Kejriwal says that the Law Minister must either quit or be fired because a sting carried on a Hindi news channel earlier this week proved large-scale embezzlement of funds by his NGO. The channel claims that the NGO, which is run by Mr Khurshid's wife, forged signatures of government officials to attest that the funds were being used as intended.
Mr Khurshid has denied the charges.
He today described Mr Kejriwal as a "man possessed not with any noble idea but burning ambition for which he will destroy whatever is in his path." He added that Mr Kejriwal should be aware that "the free ride is over" and that he will battle his allegations legally and on public platforms.