Congress accused Arvind Kejriwal and Kumar Vishwas of being “apathetic and insensitive” as a row erupted today over an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteer claiming that “false rumours” of Vishwas having an illicit relationship with her were ruining her reputation, and alleged that the Delhi Chief Minister was shielding party leaders facing serious charges.
Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza also slammed the SAD-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Punjab alleging that “goondaraj” prevailed in the state after another case of molestation of a woman came to light in Ludhiana.
On the Vishwas controversy, she said, “The victim knocked on the door of Chief Minister Kejriwal but he remained silent when his own party volunteer approached him for justice even though he used to make loud talks of transparency and standing against women atrocities before coming to power.”
“Such apathetic and insensitive behaviour from him is very unfortunate. Both Kejriwal and Vishwas should clarify as to who was behind spoiling her image. The CM and other AAP leaders are ignoring the voice of a woman worker,” she said.
Speaking on the issue, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) Chief Spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said, “We strongly condemn it and want that the matter should be probed properly as the allegations are serious.”
Mukherjee also accused Kejriwal of shielding AAP leaders who are facing serious charges. Vishwas and Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar, who has been accused of holding “fake” degrees, are being shielded by Kejriwal, she alleged.
Claiming that “false rumours” of Vishwas having illicit relationship with her were ruining her reputation and that he should come forward to clarify, the woman said that she had also written separate letters to Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and the Police Commissioner apprising them of the same.
Kumar Vishwas, a member of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee, has been asked to appear before the DCW on Tuesday.
AAP came out in defence of Viswas, who himself in a series of tweets accused the media of playing into the hands of the BJP and of being “extortionist”.
Slamming the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, Oza said that this is a “very serious” matter. “It seems there is a goondaraj in Punjab,” she said and threatened that women organisations will take to streets on the issue unless the state government takes up the matter seriously.
Close on the heels of a teenage girl being molested and pushed to death from a moving bus, owned by Punjab’s ruling Badal family, in Moga last week, a 35-year old woman today alleged that she was molested by a male passenger in a moving bus in Khanna on Sunday.
DPCC spokesperson Mukherjee said AAP had been talking about moral high ground, but time and again serious charges are being levelled against its senior leaders and MLAs.
“We have also heard that the victim had also written to Kejriwal informing him about the incident, which should have been probed by their internal Lokpal but this issue was not taken up. So she had to go to women commission,” she said.
Reiterating the party’s demand of removal of Delhi Law Minister Tomar, she said, “Everybody is talking about the case and even political parties are protesting against it, but Kejriwal is protecting him instead of sacking him. Chief Minister has accepted Tomar’s explanation, which is again absolutely wrong as the charges against him are serious.”
Congress leader Oza also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks invoking Lord Budha to spread the message of love and compassion. She asked Modi to “act rather than only make speeches” to maintain peace and bonhomie among communities.
“There has been enough of speeches and statements (bhashanbaaji and jumlebaaji). Now there is the need to convert all those into action to maintain peace and bonhomie. Modi, BJP and its associate organisations should now do something in this regard,” Oza said.
Addressing a gathering here on Buddha Purnima, the Prime Minister said Lord Buddha’s timeless message of love and compassion could help rid the world of the problems of war and violence. Invoking Lord Buddha, he said his teaching of compassion inspires one to rebuild lives.
Replying to a question about Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien’s apparent attack on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for taking up the real estate bill issue, Oza said, “No leader has been stopped by anyone from raising people’s issues. Rahul is taking up the issues of people. That should be appreciated.”
On Saturday when Gandhi had branded the Modi government as “pro-builder” over the Real Estate Bill, O’Brien had said he was amused that someone is trying to hog the spotlight. “All opposition parties in Rajya Sabha united five days ago to send the Real Estate bill to a select committee… Amused that someone is trying to hog the spotlight,” O’Brien had said in an apparent reference to Gandhi’s resolve to oppose the Real Estate bill.