Probe BJP intimidation, AAP tells poll panel

AAP-supportersThe Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Thursday urged the Election Commission to order an independent probe into what it said were attempts by the BJP to intimidate it. Citing at least four incidents of Wednesday, the AAP told the poll panel that there appeared to be a concerted attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “to attack and intimidate the AAP”.

“This would vitiate the entire political atmosphere and have a serious impact on the conduct of free and fair elections all over the country,” said the letter, signed by AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta. Gupta urged the Election Commission to institute an independent inquiry to probe these incidents.

“Kindly investigate this issue and take prompt and strict action to ensure that such attacks, violence and intimidation (are) not repeated.” The AAP alleged that it were BJP members who attacked its members from inside the BJP office here Wednesday with stones, bricks, furniture, sticks and bottles when the AAP held a demonstration outside.

“This went on for a while. We do agree that some of our volunteers retaliated to this attack and provocation and threw back some of the stones that were (flung at) them.” It said there was photographic evidence to prove that BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli attacked AAP volunteers with a lathi and that one AAP member was hit on the head.

The AAP accused Delhi Police of “badly” beating up a member, Pavan Pandey, at the Parliament Street police station. Also Wednesday, BJP activists attacked AAP supporters with lathis in Lucknow “brutally… while police stood and watched”, the letter said.

After describing how party leader Arvind Kejriwal was taken to a police station Wednesday while touring Gujarat, the letter said 50-60 people kicked and attacked his car near Kharohi village in Kutch district. During this period, the letter said, the police escort of the former Delhi chief minister mysteriously disappeared from the scene – only to reappear later. Similarly, those hosting AAP leader Manish Sisodia were intimidated in Banaskantha district and told not to interact the former Delhi minister who too is touring Gujarat.