- "Voters have turned away from Arvind Kejriwal": Prakash Javadekar
- "You had yourself said you are an anarchist," Union Minister said
- Mr Kejriwal expressed hurt at the "terrorist" tag
Undeterred by the outrage and election body notice over a BJP MP calling Arvind Kejriwal a "terrorist", Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today repeated the comment at a press conference as campaigning entered the last phase ahead of the February 8 Delhi election.
"There is a reason voters of Delhi have turned away from Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal makes an innocent face and asks - 'am I a terrorist?' -- You are a terrorist, there is plenty of proof. You had yourself said you are an anarchist; there is not much difference between an anarchist and terrorist," Mr Javadekar said.
Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reacted furiously to Mr Javadekar's comments. "This is happening in the capital of our country... where the central government is based, the Election Commission is present. How can a central minister be permitted to use such language? If Arvind Kejriwal is a terrorist, I challenge the BJP to arrest him," said AAP MP Sanjay Singh.
#WATCH Union Minister Prakash Javadekar in Delhi: Kejriwal is making an innocent face & asking if he is a terrorist, you are a terrorist, there is plenty of proof for it. You yourself had said you are an anarchist, there is not much difference between an anarchist & a terrorist. pic.twitter.com/vRjkvFKGEO— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2020
BJP MP Parvesh Verma was the first to use the term for the Delhi Chief Minister on January 25, on the campaign trail. He had implied that if Mr Kejriwal returned to power, then "Shaheen Bagh-type" of people will take over the streets. Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi is among the most prominent sites of protests against the citizenship law CAA that critics say discriminates against Muslims.
"We hear instances of Hindu women picked up by Muslim men... no action is taken as terrorists like Kejriwal are hidden everywhere. Should we fight with Pakistan terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorists like Kejriwal," Parvesh Verma said.
He was served notice by the Election Commission, which had already ordered a four-day campaign ban on him for incendiary remarks.
Mr Kejriwal had expressed hurt at the tag.
"How have I become a terrorist? I've arranged for medicines... did so much for the needy. I've never thought of myself or my family... am ready to give my life for the nation," the AAP convenor had said in an emotional reaction.
"I leave this up to Delhi to decide... am I their son, their brother or a terrorist," Mr Kejriwal had said.
The AAP had complained to Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer demanding an FIR (first information report) against Mr Verma.
The results of the Saturday voting in 70-seat Delhi will be declared three days later. AAP won 67 seats in the previous election, limiting the BJP to three and the Congress - after its 15-year rule in Delhi -- to zero seats.