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Prashant Bhushan dares Kejriwal for public debate on ‘mahajokepal’

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New Delhi: A day after he termed ruling AAP’s 2015 ombudsman Bill “mahajokepal”, former party leader Prashant Bhushan on Sunday challenged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to a public debate on the Jan Lokpal Bill even as he warned of a stir outside Assembly on Monday when the proposed legislation is tabled.

The senior lawyer said that the agitation will be held under the aegis of Swaraj Abhiyan, a group floated by Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav following their expulsion from AAP. The fledgling outfit, which is a self-professed “non-political” forum, has taken issue with the 2015 Jan Lokpal Bill and has targeted AAP over it.

Although there was no immediate response or reaction from AAP on the gauntlet thrown down by Bhushan, the ruling party has rubbished the Supreme Court lawyer’s claims, charging that he was speaking against the said Bill at the behest of BJP.

“My track record is such that such allegations don’t merit any response,” he said.

Slamming the Bill, Bhushan said, “We were shocked to find that the present Bill is against every principle on the basis of which the anti-corruption movement fought for the institution of Janlokpal. It proposes a Lokpal that is to be completely controlled by the government.”

AAP is claiming that the Bill is identical to the the draft prepared during the Anna Hazare movement and the 2014 Bill that it had tried to introduce in the Delhi Assembly.

“Kejriwal should come and debate this in public. It will expose the fraud with the people of the country and the anti- corruption movement. If you have actually copied from Janlokpal Bill 2014 or Uttarakhand Bill, then what took you so long?

“Why did Arvind keep on tweeting that he is drafting the Bill?” Bhushan asked.

Former Union Law Minister and Prashant Bhushan’s father, Shanti Bhushan, too, hit out at Kejriwal and likened him to Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of the infamous Hitler regime.

“This Goebbels is the CM of Delhi. He had said he will slash the salaries of MLAs by half, but has instead raised it by two-and-a-half times,” charged Bhushan senior.

Bhushan said AAP’s stand reflected the blame-game politics that is commonly associated with parties like BJP and Congress. “AAP’s strategy has become the same,” he alleged.

“I have already filed a petition in Supreme Court for a stronger and more transparent Lokpal at the Centre and for its immediate appointment. What are they saying?” he said.

However, Bhushan, known as an activist-lawyer, said he should not have lashed out at and used harsh words against AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha during a TV debate over the issue.

“When someone comes up with such allegations and lies brazenly, you naturally get angry. Sometimes there is an outburst, but I still think such outbursts are not correct.
You say certain things out of anger but the circumstances have to be considered as well,” he said.

Reacting to the allegations by the Bhushan duo, AAP spokesperson Ashutosh questioned as to why they and Yogendra Yadav, another expelled AAP leader, did not protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not appointing Lokpal at the Centre.

(With inputs from agencies)

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BJP Member Files Defamation Complaint Against Arvind Kejriwal

“The tweet has not only defamed me but crores of other BJP members and the accused cannot be permitted to go scot-free for such an offence,” the complainant said

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Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A BJP member Rajesh Kumar has filed a defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for tweeting objectional comments against his party men.

The complaint was filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, who has listed the matter for a hearing on May 16.

Kumar, who claimed to be convenor of legal cell of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Purvanchal Morcha in Delhi, told the court that he was shocked to see a tweet by Kejriwal saying that BJP members kept roaming around the country and raping Hindu girls.

“The accused (Kejriwal) has successfully dented the reputation of the complainant in particular and his party,” Kumar said in his complaint.

According to Kumar, he came across the tweet on September 30, 2018 and wanted to lodge a complaint immediately, but did not believing that the people would not take it seriously.

Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia commons
Arvind Kejriwal’s party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia Commons

However, during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations in his society in April, one lady on realising that he was a BJP leader, taunted him citing the tweet.

There were several such incidents when the complainant had to face embarassment due to the “utterly irresponsible and defamatory tweet by Kejriwal, who holds such high position”, said Kumar in his plea.

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“The tweet has not only defamed me but crores of other BJP members and the accused cannot be permitted to go scot-free for such an offence,” the complainant said.

He has requested the court to issue summons against Kejriwal under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act dealing with defamation and promoting enmity between different groups. (IANS)