Mr. Kejriwal invited Ms. Dikshit for a debate on issues like transparency in public life, inflated power and water bills.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has challenged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to a public debate with him on issues like transparency in public life, “inflated” power and water bills, and women's safety.

While responding to Ms. Dikshit's Political Secretary Pawan Khera's letter objecting to his targeting of the Chief Minister, Mr. Kejriwal rejected charges that he “muddied” the politics by criticising Ms. Dikshit’s “corrupt” regime. Mr. Khera in his letter last week had asked Mr. Kejriwal not to indulge in “cheap gimmick” and to refrain from making “personal attacks” on the Chief Minister.

In his letter to Ms. Dikshit, Mr. Kejriwal wrote: “I invite you for a public debate. This debate may happen at Ramlila Maidan. Date and time will be at your convenience. But I know you will not accept this challenge.”

He said if Ms. Dikshit actually wanted to do “clean politics” then she should not give party tickets to politicians who have criminal records.

“There are 16 Congress MLAs who are charged with serious criminal offences, who also sit in the Delhi Assembly. How can these people make laws against rape, corruption and murder? Legislative Assembly is like a temple. And presence of such people will spoil the sanctity of the temple,” he said.

Mr. Kejriwal also said if Ms. Dikshit wanted “clean politics” then she should announce that the Congress will not give tickets to more than one member of a family.

Criticising the Congress party on the issue of being funded from “corrupt sources”, he also said if Ms. Dikshit’s party was actually for “clean politics”, it should reveal sources of its funding.

“The funding sources of political parties should be transparent. AAP puts the entire list of its donors on its website. According to sources Congress has got more than Rs.2,000 crore in last five years but the party has not made its funding sources public. Once you reveal the donor list, then the public would be confident that you actually want to do clean and transparent politics,” he added.

He also accused Ms. Dikshit of wasting public money while ignoring people’s interests.

“During the last 15 years that you have been Chief Minster, you could not even ensure that entire Delhi gets proper drinking water. But still your government is spending crores in advertising about ‘development’. What kind of development is this? Instead of advertising, had the money been spent on water, thousands must have been benefited.”

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