Aam Aadmi Party tells Election Commission of India: 'BJP trying to intimidate us'

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 7 2014, 07:13am hrs
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today accused BJP of trying to intimidate its workers and requested Election Commission to initiate a probe into the violent clashes which took place yesterday between its members and supporters of the saffron outfit here.

"It seems to hint at a concerted attempt by BJP to attack and intimidate Aam Aadmi Party. That would vitiate the entire political atmosphere and have a serious impact on the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

"Since EC is charged with the responsibility of ensuring free and fair polls, we request you to institute an independent inquiry into the matter," Aam Aadmi Party National Secretary Pankaj Gupta said in a letter to EC today.

He also accused police of registering an FIR only against Aam Aadmi Party members while leaving out BJP supporters.

"We do agree that some of our volunteers retaliated against the attack and threw back some of the stones that were hurled at them.

"(But) there were numerous media channels present there (outside BJP headquarters) and the video footage would clearly show that the attack was initiated by BJP workers. There is photographic evidence that BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli attacked our volunteers with a lathi," the letter alleged.

Gupta said that as the protesters headed home, police picked up and detained 33 party volunteers, including 10 women, and Anand Kumar, a JNU professor and the party's candidate from north-east Delhi.

"They were illegally detained till 1 A.M. while police were still talking to higher authorities," the letter added.

Gupta also mentioned the episode in Gujarat in which Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal was detained by police.

He said that while Kejriwal was on a visit to a village in Gujarat's Kutch, his police escort disappeared before some 50-60 people waving black flags allegedly attacked the convoy.

The escorts appeared again after some time, Gupta said, adding that the timing of the disappearance and appearance of the police escort seems "extremely suspicious".

AAP also alleged that Gujarat police was intimidating everybody with whom party leader Manish Sisodia was interacting with during his travels in Banaskantha district.