Man who hurled shoe at P. Chidambaram is AAP candidate

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 16 2014, 06:38am hrs
A man, who hurled a shoe at Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in 2009, has been chosen by AAP to contest the Lok Sabha elections.

Jarnail Singh is among the 20 candidates announced by Aam Aadmi Party today.

"I had applied for a ticket from West Delhi, and I was informed about my selection today," Singh told PTI.

In April 2009, Singh, a journalist with a national daily then, had hurled a shoe at Chidambaram, who was then the Home Minister, in protest against his remarks on the clean chit to Congress leaders in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

"He (Chidambaram) had said he was happy that his friends(Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler) were exonerated. I was unhappy over this because he was the Union Home Minister then, and such words did not suit him.

"So, in a press conference at the AICC office, I asked him about his comments to which he responded that I was using the forum (press conference) for my agenda," Singh said.

Upset over this, Singh hurled a shoe at the minister as a "symbolic protest".

"It did not hurt him. It was just a symbolic protest," Singh said.

After the incident, Singh received several requests from parties to contest, but he declined the offers as he did not want to enter politics then. He was, however, impressed with AAP's slogan of clean politics.

"Arvind Kejriwal joined us in our protest (seeking justice for anti-Sikh riots victims) and assured us that his party would form an SIT to probe the anti-Sikh riot cases if it comes to power," he said.

"I have been associated with the party since May 2013. I have told him (Kejriwal) that I will do any service to the party...even if it is the job of a watchman," he said.

Singh currently works as a freelance journalist and has authored three books on the anti-Sikh riots and is also working on a documentary. He also works for the victims of the anti-Sikh riots and has been instrumental in getting the children of the victims married.

On campaigning plans, he said his focus would be on Sikh-dominated constituencies in West Delhi.

"There are some three to four Sikh-dominated segments in West Delhi," Singh said, adding that there will be party meetings tomorrow after which the campaigning will start.

The West Delhi constituency has a sizable chunk of Poorvanchali population and is currently represented by Congress leader Mahabal Mishra.