New Delhi, Apr 9, 2016 (PTI): A shoe was hurled at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference here by a man who claimed to be from a breakaway group of AAP, triggering angry reaction from AAP which sought to link BJP to the incident.
The shoe did not hit Kejriwal as an official quickly shielded him and caught the missile.
The attacker, identified as Ved Prakash, said he is the general secretary of Aam Aadmi Sena and was angry with the Chief Minister for not taking action against those involved in alleged irregularities in distribution of CNG stickers.
Prakash, 28, first interrupted Kejriwal when he was briefing reporters at the media centre of the Delhi Secretariat about the roll out of the second phase of the Odd-Even scheme and then threw a shoe and a CD at the Chief Minister.
His action led to commotion. The shoe did not hit Kejriwal as it was quickly deflected by an official standing near the Chief Minister.
The AAP was quick to blame BJP for the incident with Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra alleging that the attacker had telephoned a Delhi BJP leader before the incident. The BJP, on its part, condemned the incident but said Kejriwal should introspect why he is facing such attacks repeatedly.
The attacker was thrashed by AAP volunteers before he was whisked away by police after the incident at around 4:10 PM. Police said the man is a resident of Begampur in North-West Delhi and is a property dealer. He has been detained for questioning.
Prakash talked about alleged irregularities in distribution of CNG stickers which are required for CNG-run cars to get exemption from the restrictions of the odd-even scheme. He alleged that the stickers were being sold for Rs 1,000 each at a CNG station near CGO complex in Lodhi Road.
He claimed he had done a sting operation about it on April 7 and that the CD contained it.
Kejriwal, later, continued with the press conference.
“Arvind ji one minute please, I have conducted a sting on CNG sticker scam. One CNG sticker is being distributed for Rs 1,000. Why are you doing this? Why don’t you take action against this?,” Prakash said before throwing the ‘CD’ and shoe.
Reacting to the shoe attack, Mishra claimed Prakash had called a Delhi BJP leader before throwing his shoe at Kejriwal. “Call details of Ved Prakash Sharma should be probed. He called BJP Delhi leader right before attacking,” Mishra tweeted.
Police said Prakash’s call details are being checked.
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said the attack shows frustration of rival parties ahead of Punjab polls.
“Dear Conspirators,This #OddEven is going to grace your Aaka’s a big Zero in Punjab keep on throwing your frustrations wrapped in Ink-Shoes,” he said.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma condemned the shoe attack but said the AAP leader should “introspect” why such things happen to him repeatedly.
“I do not support this act. This type of activity should not be there in democratic country. But, there is a question which arises about why such things happen to him repeatedly. Earlier ink was thrown on him and now the shoe. Kerjiwal should introspect on this,” he told reporters.
The Information and Publicity department of Delhi government has filed a complaint at Indraprastha police station, alleging Prakash’s intention was to hurt the Chief Minister.
An official said that government will only allow journalists having Delhi Information and Publicity (DIP )card to attend the Delhi Chief Minister’s press conference.
The official of CM’s office said that it is “shameful and dangerous” that a person claiming to be journalist could use a press conference to target the Chief Minister.
A young woman had thrown ink at Kejriwal at a public rally on January 17 to celebrate the “success” of the first phase of odd-even scheme.