Arvind Kejriwal, the National Convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Sunday trained guns on many a Karnataka politician.
“I have a list of corrupt politicians of Karnataka. I will read out their names and you tell me if they are really corrupt because, otherwise, there will be a dozen more defamation suits against me,” he said to a cheering crowd at the AAP rally at the Freedom Park.
Reading out the list, he said, “I have no idea what compels (Narendra) Modiji to re-induct B S Yeddyurappa into the BJP and we hear he will be a minister if Modi becomes the prime minister.”
Kejriwal went on to read out the names of former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and former ministers S N Krishnaiah Setty, Hartal Halappa, G Janardhana Reddy, B Sriramulu and Katta Subramanya Naidu.
He also read out the names of Congress leaders. “D K Shivakumar, a minister whose men (sidekicks) molested a woman journalist! If we have ministers like him, where will the women go for their safety and security,” he asked the crowd.
The former Delhi chief minister further said that it was difficult to understand why a person like R Roshan Baig was a minister. “It seems every minister in Karnataka exports iron ore illegally,” he remarked. Introducing the AAP candidates for Karnataka on stage, Kejriwal said, “There are no Yedyurappas or Shivakumars or Roshan Baigs among them.”
Expressing concern that two TV9 journalists were arrested after their sting operation to “expose” Shivakumar went awry, Kejriwal said, “You need not worry; we are with you. AAP’s Karnataka unit will do anything that you want. If you like, we will sit on a dharna for you or even go to jail.” Social activist S R Hiremath, freedom fighter H S Doreswamy and former diplomat P A Nazareth also spoke on the occasion.
Scuffle with the media
There were at least three instances of argument between journalists and AAP volunteers during the party’s rally at the Freedom Park on Sunday. The AAP volunteers repeatedly demanded that journalists show their identity cards. This was despite the fact that every journalist covering the event was asked to get themselves registered after showing their identity cards.
The situation went out of control when an AAP volunteer punched a photojournalist in the face when he tried to click a picture of those seated on the stage. This led to commotion but the police rushed in to intervene. It was only after members of the AAP’s local unit apologised that the journalists returned to their seats.