"Will Go To BJP HQ With All AAP Leaders": Arvind Kejriwal's Arrest Dare

The AAP chief was reacting to the arrest of his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar in the Swati Maliwal assault case.

Mr Kejriwal claimed the BJP's net targets are Raghav Chadha, Saurabh Bhardwaj and Atishi.

New Delhi:

In his first reaction to the Swati Maliwal case - without naming the Rajya Sabha MP -  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has hit out at the BJP government and accused it of picking out people from the Aam Aadmi Party one by one to arrest them, with the latest target being his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar.

A defiant Mr Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party cannot be "crushed" and, throwing down the gauntlet, declared that he would go to the BJP's headquarters in Delhi with all his senior leaders at noon on Sunday, where the ruling party could arrest them all at once if it wanted to. 

In a video message in Hindi on Saturday, Mr Kejriwal said, "You are seeing how these people have been after the Aam Aadmi Party. One after the other, they have been putting our leaders in jail. They jailed me, (former deputy chief minister) Manish Sisodia, (former minister) Satyendar Jain, (Rajya Sabha MP) Sanjay Singh, and now they have arrested my personal assistant today."

The Aam Aadmi Party chief, who is out on interim bail until June 2 for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls, claimed that the BJP now plans to arrest his party's Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, who returned from London after an eye surgery and met him earlier in the day. Delhi Ministers Saurabh Bhardwaj and Atishi are also their targets, he claimed. 

'Hundreds Of Leaders Will Be Born'

Repeating a charge he has made several times in the past, Mr Kejriwal said the AAP's only crimes were that it had built great government schools and mohalla clinics and provided free and uninterrupted electricity, which the BJP would not be able to do.

With folded hands, he said, "I want to tell the Prime Minister: You are playing this game of arresting people one at a time. Tomorrow, I will go to the BJP headquarters at noon with all my senior leaders, MLAs and MPs. Jail whoever you want, do it all at once. You think you can crush the AAP by jailing its leaders. The party will not be crushed like this, try it if you want."

"The Aam Aadmi Party is a thought that has found its place in the hearts of people across the country. Hundreds of leaders will be born for every AAP leader you throw in jail," he added. 

Bibhav Kumar was arrested earlier on Saturday for allegedly assaulting Ms Maliwal at the chief minister's residence on Monday. The Rajya Sabha MP had alleged Mr Kumar had kicked her in the chest, stomach and pelvic area and had brutally "dragged her and pulled her shirt up".

The issue has now become the focal point of a political storm, with the BJP and the AAP trading charges on how women have been treated by both parties. Ms Maliwal, who says she has been associated with Mr Kejriwal for two decades, is also battling it out with the AAP, which has said she is being used as a political pawn by the BJP.