New Delhi, February 2: The row over Arvind Kejriwal being shown of “upadravi gotra” – or destructive subcaste – has led the AAP and the BJP locking horns, with both parties on Monday lodging complaints against each other with the Election Commission. Aam Aadmi Party chief Kejriwal said he, while following social activist An Hazare’s ideals that one must have the capacity to tolerate insult, ignored many insulting acts of the Bharatiya Jata Party but they “crossed limits” and his party will now approach the poll panel. “What has happened to the BJP, first they targeted my children, but I tolerated it. Anji has said we must have capacity to tolerate insult,” Kejriwal tweeted.
“In social life, I never complained against persol insult. But this advertisement crosses the limit. They are calling the whole Agrawal caste destructive. They say I belong to a destructive subcaste,” he said. AAP leader Deepak Bajpai said the party has filed a complaint with the poll panel against the BJP. “Yes, we have lodged a complaint,” he told IANS. The BJP denied having made any caste reference in an election advertisement that mocked Kejriwal, and accused the AAP of giving it a religious and casteist connotation.
In its complaint to the Election Commission, the BJP said the AAP was violating the model code of conduct by “unnecessarily stretching and imputing meanings to the words used” by the BJP. “He (Kejriwal) tried to tarnish the image of the BJP so that the AAP can benefit. The BJP does not believe in caste politics or divide voters in caste lines. “The word ‘gotra’ is used as a metaphor and the ‘upadravi gotra’ has been used for saying he belongs to an archist clan which he himself claims to be,” the BJP said in its complaint. “Kindly take appropriate action against AAP and its tiol convenor (Kejriwal),” the complaint added.
BJP leader and union Power Minister Piyush Goyal told media persons that it was “extremely sad” that an expression used to represent that political party’s ideology, has been sought to be twisted on religious ground. “This is a political commentary on their (AAP) ideology, that is archy. The term has been metaphorically used but it is being twisted and misused by the AAP,” he said. “It is a conspiracy of the AAP to give religious and casteist tone to the election process,” he added.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP in–charge Prabhat Jha said the controversy will not affect the BJP’s prospects in the upcoming polls. “They have a habit of lying and twisting facts. It doesn’t bother us,” Jha told IANS. The advertisement featured a caricature of Kejriwal, saying he will disrupt the Republic Day parade, and also ask for a VIP pass next year. It used the term “upadravi gotra” or destructive subcaste alluding to Kejriwal, the former Delhi chief minister. (IANS)