New Delhi: Update: Hansraj Gadia Lohar, the brother-in-law of Suresh - who slapped Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, told media on Saturday: "He [Suresh] shares everything with me but had never told me that he'll do something like this. But he had once told me leaders make tall promises but no one fulfills them. He isn't affiliated to any political party."
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal was on Saturday slapped during a road show in the national capital by an attacker.
Kejriwal, who was campaigning for party’s candidate in west Delhi’s Moti Nagar area along with party’s candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar, was slapped by a person wearing a maroon colour T-shirt soon after the CM boarded the open jeep to participate in a road show.
AAP workers and supporters grabbed the alleged attacker. The attacker is being questioned by Delhi Police.
Soon after Kejriwal was slapped, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari condemned the attack but also raised doubts that it might have been scripted.
“Just heard that Kejriwal has been slapped during his road show. BJP condemns any such attack carried out by anyone,” he told the media.
Claiming that the Chief Minister scripted the attack, Tiwari said during every election someone comes and slaps Kejriwal.
“BJP wants a healthy fight in the city so that the people of Delhi benefit and get clean drinking water, proper education and new buses,” added Tiwari, the BJP candidate from the North East Delhi parliamentary constituency.
Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia said Kejriwal has remained "unstoppable" in the last few years, alleging that "(PM) Modi and (BJP chief) Shah are trying to kill Kejriwal".
AAP spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj too blamed the BJP.
"Kejriwal is supposedly a Z+ security protectee, who has been attacked several times in a systematic and clearly visible pattern. Whenever there is an attack, BJP tries to justify it on national TV. They try to make a hero of the attacker," said Bhardwaj.
"Many of the attackers in the past have had links with the BJP. The wife of today's attacker also confirmed that he is a Modi bhakt."
He alleged the Delhi Police deliberately lowers its guard to make the CM vulnerable to such attacks. "No one talks of suspension of Commissioner of Police... this is in itself a glaring evidence that the Modi government is patronising these attacks."
Several other parties too blamed the BJP and condemned the attack.
Sharad Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief, said the slap will ensure the defeat of BJP.
"The slap on Arvind Kejriwal today during the roadshow will ensure BJP's total defeat. The BJP has made politics in the country very dirty in the last five years. It will take years now to cleanse politics in our country," he tweeted.
TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the attack.
"Political vandalism. Political goondaism. Political vendetta. Maligning and attacking Opposition leaders show that BJP has lost the election and is making desperate attempts. We condemn the attack on Arvind Kejriwal... we are all with you, Arvind," she said.
CPI-M chief Sitaram Yechury also condemned the attack, saying: "This is highly condemnable. Delhi's security is controlled by Modi and his government. Even then a Chief Minister is not safe. But many middle-rung BJP and RSS persons have got top-level security."
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called the attack "shocking and unacceptable."
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said after trying to defeat, demoralize, degrade, destabilize and dethrone Kejriwal, the forces that have destroyed institutions, derailed federal principles "are now attempting to physically attack Arvind Kejriwal".
"This is an indication of their desperation & defeat. I strongly denounce such a dastardly act and Delhi Police must take responsibility for this act. Such attacks will only strengthen our resolve to fight for strengthening democracy."
Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Tejashwi Yadav, Tanweer Hassan and Manoj Jha too condemned the attack.
The Delhi police said the attacker was an AAP supporter and worked as an organiser of party's rallies and meetings.
AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, however, said Delhi Police was doing everything at the behest of the Modi government.
"Delhi Police planted that man. This is shameful... even wife of the attacker has herself said that her husband is a Modi bhakt and that he did not like anyone talking against Modi. This is same Delhi Police that had planted a man for the 'mirchi (chilli powder) attack' on the CM. The police's statement is a proof that Delhi Police is taking orders from the Modi government," he said in a statement.
Kejriwal has been attacked multiple times. Last year, the CM was attacked with chilli powder outside his office in Delhi Secretariat.