Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been accused of “boorish behaviour” and attempts to score political points at the cost of Gujarat police by a group of former officers, who cited his recent run-in with security men over his auto ride in Ahmedabad. The officers have written to President Droupadi Murmu, seeking her intervention.
The Aam Aadmi Party or AAP, in turn, claims that it is “gaining ground exponentially” and the BJP is “clueless on how to tackle AAP” which is why such a letter has been written.
“Obviously, the BJP is behind this letter. BJP’s prospects in Gujarat in the forthcoming elections are very bad. Their own leaders lack any mass appeal and are completely discredited. That’s why the BJP has now sought help of some retired police officers,” the AAP said, countering the allegations against Mr Kejriwal.
Mr Kejriwal had dinner at the home of an auto driver on September 12 while campaigning for the coming elections in the state. His host had picked him up from the five-star hotel where he was staying.
In the three-page letter, the 30 former officers of the Indian Police Service or IPS alleged that Mr Kejriwal made “certain distasteful and inconsiderate remarks” to the police officer deputed for his security when he offered to accompany him.
“By stating that the police officials of Gujarat are a black spot on the security provided by the State, Mr. Kejriwal sought to gain public validation and praise albeit at the expense of the police forces,” the officers added.
Reports said the heated argument that broke out ahead of the journey, was followed by a compromise. A policeman had sat beside the auto driver and two police cars escorted the vehicle.
The former police officers cited a similar instance in Punjab before Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party won the state elections. That time, the Delhi Chief Minister had sought a “withdrawal of security”, the letter read.
“It is noteworthy that soon after campaigning concludes, Mr. Kejriwal in a completely conflicting stance is quick to cite “threat perception” and allege that the police forces of the country do not offer him sufficient protection,” the letter added.
“We state that through his unpleasant words and actions Mr. Kejriwal intended to paint himself as a political martyr, however, in doing so he has unfairly created a spectacle of the police force not only in the State of Gujarat, but also throughout the country,” the letter added.
The BJP has slammed Mr Kejriwal over the matter. Days after the incident, the Delhi BJP tried to “gift” him with five auto-rickshaws.
“He has a convoy of 27 vehicles and 200 security personnel have been deployed for his security and yet he enacted a drama by insisting on travelling in an autorickshaw in Gujarat. So, we are gifting him these autos to fulfil his wish of travelling in three-wheelers in Delhi,” said Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri.