MUMBAI: On a day Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal continued with his apology spree, saying sorry to union minister Nitin Gadkari, former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Anjali Damania said she felt “deceived”.
Ms Damania joins the list of AAP leaders in Punjab who have gone public with their criticism of Mr Kejriwal for apologizing to people who have slapped defamation cases against the chief minister.
Ms Damania had earlier accused Mr Gadkari of irregularities in his Purti Group of companies and had even contested the 2014 elections from Nagpur, which the minister won by a huge margin.
“My son was giving his Class 12 boards when I was asked by Arvind Kejriwal to fight elections against Mr Gadkari. Today, I feel deceived,” Ms Damania told NDTV.
Following Ms Damania’s allegations, Arvind Kejriwal had named Mr Gadkari as “one of the most corrupt politicians in the country”. The minister hit back by moving court against Kejriwal for allegedly defaming him.
After saying sorry to Punjab politician Bikram Majithia, Arvind Kejriwal today apologised to Mr Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal, shedding two more defamation cases.
Ms Damania, who had quit the Aam Aadmi Party in 2015, is still fighting 24 defamation cases but ‘vows to fight them out till her last breath’.
“In 2012 as well as in 2014, I had given Arvind clinching evidence against Mr Gadkari. In 2013, when Prashant Bhushan, Arvind and I were at the Delhi court and when was asked by advocate Pinky Anand if we would want to take a step back, the three of us vehemently denied saying we were ready to fight the matter and prove that Mr Gadkari was corrupt,” Damania told NDTV.
“Now to hear Arvind say ‘I made certain statements, without regard to its verifiability, which seem to have hurt you’ is very painful. I had slogged, gone from one district to another to collect the documents,” she added.
Putting out a list of five questions for AAP, Ms Damania sought to know how many court hearings Mr Kejriwal had attended to say that he was getting disturbed in his work. She also asked whether the courts would not have granted relief if the chief minister had pleaded for exemption from personal appearance.
“Arvind claims that it was to focus his strength in Delhi. Ideally, with a strong force of 67/70 MLAs (lawmakers) he should have entrusted the functioning of Delhi Government to his trusted
MLAs and fought each of the cases, ensured victory in every single matter and punished these corrupt politicians,” Ms Damania said.
Asking whether anyone has ever been jailed in India in a defamation case, the former AAP leader sought to know why the party had issued a list of “20 most corrupt politicians if they were to back off meekly”.
Questioning the claim made by AAP that the party didn’t have enough resources to fight the defamation cases, Ms Damania sought to know if party volunteers would not have raised funds had the chief minister appealed to them.