Atishi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from East Delhi, broke down at a press conference today as her party accused her BJP rival Gautam Gambhir of circulating a derogatory, scurrilous pamphlet on her ahead of voting in Delhi on Sunday for the national election. "Never imagined Gautam Gambhir to stoop so low," tweeted AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, as the hashtag #IStandWithAtishi trended on Twitter.
Gautam Gambhir, a celebrated former cricketer, rubbished the allegation in a series of tweets implying that AAP had concocted the allegations to win and declaring that he was "ashamed" to have a Chief Minister like Arvind Kejriwal. He said if AAP proved its accusation, he would opt out of the election.
I abhor your act of outraging a woman's modesty @ArvindKejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections? U r filth Mr CM and someone needs ur very own झाड़ू to clean ur dirty mind.— Chowkidar Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 9, 2019
AAP alleged that the pamphlets, replete with lowdown, personal allegations and sexist attacks, were circulated by the BJP candidate in residential societies in East Delhi.
"I have only one question for Gautam Gambhir. If he is doing this against one woman, what about the lakhs of women in east Delhi who are worried about their safety," Atishi said.
In a tweet, Arvind Kejriwal raised similar questions: "How can women expect safety if people with such mentality are voted in? Atishi, stay strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you. It is precisely this kind of forces we have to fight against."
Manish Sisodia, his deputy, said the language in the pamphlet was "so abusive and low that everybody will feel ashamed while reading it". Atishi, who is contesting her first election, has been working as an advisor to his Education ministry.
The BJP's Mamta Kale said: "Absolutely baseless charges have been levelled against Gautam Gambhir by AAP. AAP has a history of lying and politicizing things."
Gautam Gambhir, a debutant in politics, joined the BJP last month. Apart from AAP's Atishi, he faces Arvinder Singh Lovely of the Congress.
Atishi had raised objections to Gautam Gambhir's candidature and complained to the Election Commission that he had voter ID cards from two assembly constituencies. The complaint had been rejected.