AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference in New Delhi (Press Trust of India photo)
Two days after elections in Delhi were announced, the gloves are off. Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday accused Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay of corruption and the latter immediately hit back threatening to sue Mr Kejriwal for defamation.
At a press conference where he had promised to "expose the BJP", Mr Kejriwal alleged that the BJP leader had links with power discoms in the capital. He accused the party of "helping discoms" alleging that the price of electricity has only risen in the capital despite an election promise by the BJP to cut rates by 30 per cent.
Mr Upadhyay, he alleged, was part of a company that supplies electricity meters to discom BSES. "Satish Upadhya and Ashish Sood have shareholding in an electricity firm Infomedia Private Limited. He is the majority shareholder. Sood is the director," Mr Kejriwal alleged.
Mr Upadhyay has challenged Mr Kejriwal, who resigned as Delhi chief minister last February, to substantiate his allegations or quit politics. Ashish Sood, a senior Delhi BJP leader has also refuted the AAP allegations and has accused Mr Kejriwal of misleading the people of Delhi.
"Kejriwal is running a factory of lies. He is trying to damage me and the BJP ahead of Delhi Assembly election," Mr Upadhyay said at a press conference here adding, that he would file a case of criminal defamation if Mr Kejriwal did not provide proof to support his allegations within 24 hours.
"From 2005 to March 2012, my firm used to do different works for BSES and other companies which include installations of meters and towers. But my firm didn't supply meters to any power distribution company. Besides, I was not involved in any sale or purchase of electricity meters," the BJP leader said, adding, "Out of six companies he (Kejriwal) is talking about, two companies do not exist anywhere and his allegation is totally baseless."
On Wednesday evening, Mr Kejriwal said he was ready to face a defamation suit. Mr Upadhyay's threat, he said, was a mere "face saving gesture."