Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BJP calls Kejriwal 'Congress agent'. Turf battle over opposition space in Delhi

New Delhi: On Saturday (Oct 6) civil society activist-turned-politico Arvind Kejriwal stole the show when he reconnected a poor man's power connection who was slapped with a Rs 15,000 electricity bill. On Monday (Oct 8), the Delhi unit of BJP led by party general secretary Vijay Goel was protesting about the issue at the office of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) and submitted a petition. Kejriwal landed there, according to Goel, and he wanted to speak for two minutes. He was allowed to do so and Kejriwal, said the BJP leader, hit out against the BJP from the BJP platform.

This is the first time that the main opposition party has found the man who has embarrassed Congress by exposing party president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's inexplicable growth in riches, from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 300 crore, a prickly political rival.

Goel told journalists on Tuesday that while the BJP was fighting against the Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi for the last three years over steep power tariff, even going to the extent of gighting a case in the Delhi high court, Kejriwal, a newcomer to the political arena, who did not all care for the problems of Delhiites all these years. Goel said that Kejriwal trying to upstage the BJP only means that he is “an agent of Congress”.

Another prominent party leader speaking on condition of anonymity described Kejriwal as a “Diwali sparkler” who will burn out in a shirt time. He said that the BJP will have to maintain a scrupulous indifference to the man and he will run aground sooner than later. He said that even the initial response of the party by chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasads was carefully worded. There was no reference to Kejriwal. Prasads said that certain information about Vadra has come into public domain and that there should be a fair investigation.

Asked if the party was worried about the possible naming of a top BJP leader by Kejriwal in his promised next disclosure – the date has now been shifted from October 10 to October 16 – he said that the BJP is notm worried and it will have no hesitation in calling Kejriwal at the behest of the Congress. The party is of the view that Kejriwal is a friend of Sandeep Dikshit, son of chief minister Dikshit. Both Kejriwal and Dikshit share the NGO (non-governmental organisation) space, and that Kejriwal's role will be to steal the opposition space from the BJP in Delhi. This would benefit the Congress government led by Diskhit, he said.

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