DELHI CHIEF Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday named 28 politicians he alleged were “corrupt” and said fielding strong candidates against them in the Lok Sabha elections will be his party's priority.
The list cuts across party lines and includes 14 from congress, four from BJP, two each from NCP and DMK – plus M K Alagiri who has just been expelled – and one each from SP, BSP, NC, YSR Congress and JD(S).
There are no politicians from the Left parties, Trinamool Congress and BJD, among others.
Among those accused by Kejriwal of being corrupt are Rahul Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Nitin Gadkari, A Raja, Kanimozhi, Sharad Pawar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Suresh Kalmadi, Mulayam Singh and Mayawati.
CPM leader Brinda Karat said the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi not being on the list is a “glaring absence”.
Within hours, the first reactions came with the BJP’s Nitin Gadkari sending a legal notice, asking how Kejriwal could yet again name him in such a list when Kejriwal is yet to substantiate allegations made against him in October 2012.
Kejriwal has been asked to withdraw Gadkari's name within three days and apologise before news channels or face legal action.
The National Conference's Farooq Abdullah too threatened legal action.
Although Modi's name was not on the list, Kejriwal took a dig at both Rahul and him when he accused them of having spent Rs 500 crore each on getting image makeovers. Asked about Modi's exclusion, AAP spokespersons said that this is “only the first list and will be revised over time”.
“They spent Rs 500 crore for image make over... To prepare brand Modi and brand Rahul, they are spending Rs 500 crore. Can these people, who spend Rs 500 crore for branding, give an honest government? After they come to power, they will recover that money from us,” Kejriwal said.
The AAP, he said, had entered politics with the agenda of cleansing and not to grab power. Fighting and defeating the corrupt would be the first step in that, he said and invited people to give more names to expand the list.
Many of the 28 names had featured in a list of 15 UPA ministers India Against Corruption, the forerunner of AAP, had alleged were corrupt and wanted investigated.
Names of politicians from outside UPA were added after discussions during the two-day national executive and national council meetings of the party, sources said.
Unlike in July