- Arvind Kejriwal slapped by man during campaigning in Delhi
- Aam Aadmi Party blamed BJP for the attack
- AAP alleged it was an "opposition sponsored attack"
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Saturday slapped by a man during a roadshow in the Moti Nagar area. Mr Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party chief, was standing on an open jeep, canvassing in the New Delhi constituency, when the man jumped up and attacked him. He was identified as 33-year-old Suresh, a spare parts dealer. The AAP, meanwhile, has blamed the BJP for the attack.
"They have created a perception that the only way to take on Arvind Kejriwal is to physically assault him," AAP lawmaker Saurabh Bhardwaj told NDTV.
The man was pulled off the vehicle by Mr Kejriwal's supporters. He was rescued by the police from AAP workers who thrashed him, news agency ANI reported. He has been detained and is being questioned by the police.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah over the assault.
"Do Modi and Amit Shah want Kejriwal to be murdered? In the five year, they couldn't break his resolve, couldn't defeat him in the elections, now you want to eliminate him, you cowards! This Kejriwal is your end," Manish Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.
The AAP has alleged that it was an "opposition sponsored attack".
"Another negligence in the security of CM @ArvindKejriwal. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal got attacked during the roadshow. We condemned this cowardly act. This opposition sponsored attack cannot stop the Aam Aadmi in Delhi," the AAP tweeted.
The Trinamool Congress has also slammed the BJP, blaming it for the attack.
The @ArvindKejriwal incident in Delhi and the malicious spin on a silly video targeting @MamataOfficial in Bengal prove that BJP has already LOST. They are desperately creating incidents to try and find 'game-changers'. People have already changed the game! Modi is OUT: Derek— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) May 4, 2019
The spare parts dealer was an AAP supporter, the Delhi Police said, according to news agency PTI. "An enquiry by a DCP-level officer has been ordered to enquire as to how this person was allowed to be in the reception or proximate group," Anil Mittal, Additional PRO (Delhi Police) said. According to his version, over a period of time, Suresh got disenchanted due to behaviour of the AAP leaders. His anger intensified due to "distrust of the party in the armed forces", the officer said, adding further interrogation is on in the matter.
A First Information Report has been filed against Suresh.
"He was wearing a cap (which he later took off) and scarf of the AAP, and was in the reception group of the CM. No one objected to him being there as he had been an organiser for the party. He was standing near the front right tyre of the Gypsy. He took off the scarf, climbed the bonnet and attempted to assault the CM," Delhi Police said in a statement.
This was not the first time Arvind Kejriwal is roughed up. Last year, a man who handed him a letter outside his office, swooped down to touch his feet, got up and forcefully smeared chilli powder on his face. The incident had taken place inside one of the capital city's most protected buildings, the Delhi Secretariat.
With inputs from PTI