- Arvind Kejriwal was attending an event aimed at cleaning the Yamuna river
- Some people started to cough when Mr Kejriwal was speaking
- Nitin Gadkari and Harsh Vardhan intervened, asked the crowd to stay quiet
From ink to chilli powder, Arvind Kejriwal has been targeted in many ways through his tenure as the Delhi Chief Minister. But the most distasteful attack probably came on Thursday, when he stepped forward to address the public at an official event in the national capital.
People in the front rows stood before him, coughing in chorus.
The Chief Minister used to suffer from a persistent form of cough for over 40 years, before he underwent corrective surgery at a Bengaluru hospital in September 2016. The coughing -- which was obviously in mockery of his ailment -- resulted in some awkwardness at the event, until Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Harsh Vardhan came forward to shush the crowd. "Please keep quiet. This is an official event," said Mr Gadkari.
The event, held jointly by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Delhi Jal Board, was aimed at launching a campaign to clean the Yamuna. Besides Mr Kejriwal and the two Union ministers, the event was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Minister of State for Water Resources Satyapal Singh and a number of BJP parliamentarians from Delhi.
This is not the first time the Delhi Chief Minister has been mocked over his past ailment. Clips of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu allegedly mocking Mr Kejriwal's cough went viral on the social media two years ago, when he was still contemplating jumping ship from the BJP to the Aam Aadmi Party. Even after the surgery, then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, now Goa Chief Minister, had quipped that doctors had to trim Mr Kejriwal's tongue because "it had grown long due to his comments against him and the Prime Minister".
(With inputs from PTI)