New Delhi: In a serious lapse of security, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal was slapped during a roadshow in the national capital on early Saturday evening.

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 roadshow.

Soon after some AAP workers and supporters grabbed the alleged attacker and the police detained him for further questioning. The attacker was soon identified as Suresh.

Speaking to the media, the Delhi Police, which came under extreme fire from Opposition leaders and people alike over their complacency in making adequate security arrangements for the CM said that the attacker is a former party worker.

“The Chief Minister arrived around 5.43 p.m. at the venue. He stepped out of the official vehicle and got on to the open Gypsy prepared for the roadshow. As he was greeting his party workers who had gathered around the Gypsy, a person, later identified as Suresh, got to the bonnet of the Gypsy and attempted to assault the CM,” said Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal.

“Preliminary interrogation has revealed that Suresh, a scrap dealer in the area, was an AAP activist and worked as an organiser of the party’s rallies and meetings”, he said.

As per the accused version, over a period of time he got disenchanted due to behaviour of its leaders. He got further angry due to distrust of the party in the armed forces, Mittal added.

“Today Suresh was wearing a cap (which he later took off) and scarf of AAP, and was in the reception group of the CM. No one objected to him being there as he had been an organiser for the party as he stood near the Gypsy. He took off the scarf, climbed the bonnet and attempted to assault Kejriwal”, the officer said.

Suresh, a resident of Kailash Park, is being interrogated. Police are awaiting a formal complaint from AAP to register an FIR against him”, the officer added. “An inquiry by a DCP-level officer has been ordered as to how the accused was allowed to be in the proximate area,” he mentioned.

Meanwhile, a sea of support was witnessed for the Delhi chief minister when several Opposition leaders condemned the act and rallied in support of Kejriwal.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu took to social media and expressed his disbelief over the incident. He extended his support and best wishes to Arvind Kejriwal and tweeted:

Further adding, “This is an indication of their desperation & defeat. I strongly denounce such dastardly act and Delhi Police must take responsibility for this heinous act of slapping a democratically elected CM. Such attacks will only strengthen our resolve to fight for strengthening democracy.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted,

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack and insinuated a political party’s complicty when he tweeted, “Shocking. Unacceptable to use physical violence to make a political point.”

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav too took to Twitter and said,

On the other hand, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill also spoke out against the attack on Delhi chief minister and tweeted, “Condemn the attack on @ArvindKejriwal Ji & more than anything else shows Delhi Police in a very very poor light.”

Speaking to news agency ANI, Suresh’s brother-in-law added that no one in the family had any idea of Suresh harbouring animosity for the Aam Aadmi Party or planning to strike the chief minister like he did.

 

With inputs from agencies