New Delhi: Former BJP President Nitin Gadkari has sent a legal notice to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after the latter named him in his list of "India's most corrupt" leaders.
The notice served through Mr Gadkari's lawyer asks Mr Kejriwal to withdraw his statements within three days, failing which legal action will be taken against him.
"You are hereby called upon to withdraw your defamatory and malicious remarks by publishing and publicly apologising before all news channels and withdrawing the name of my client (Gadkari) from the contents of news 'List of India's Most Corrupt' within three days of receipt of this legal notice, failing which my client will be constrained to take appropriate legal action against you including prosecuting you for criminal defamation at your risk, cost and consequences," the notice said.
It also alleges that Mr Kejriwal has made "false, malicious and baseless allegations" which are "aimed at destroying the image" of Mr Gadkari in public and thus amount to be being "defamatory and scandalous".
At a large public meeting of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers on Friday, Mr Kejriwal proclaimed a series of top national leaders as corrupt and said AAP will target them in the national election. His list included Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior ministers like Kamal Nath, Farooq Abdullah and Kapil Sibal.
Two of the politicians he named- union minister GK Vasan and Mr Gadkari of the BJP - have warned that they will sue him for defamation unless he apologizes.
AAP announced on Thursday that it will contest 350 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, and will make a special effort to put up strong candidates against incumbent MPs with criminal records. Opinion polls predict it will not win more than a dozen of parliamentary seats, but its impact has already forced the Congress and the BJP to push transparency and combatting graft to the top of their campaign agendas.