Arvind Kejriwal following Lalu Yadav’s footsteps: BJP leader

Kejriwal’s wife Sunita can be seen in the chair that her husband used to occupy as the Chief Minister of Delhi, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said

Updated - March 30, 2024 10:49 am IST

Published - March 30, 2024 08:35 am IST - Patna

BJP candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat Ravi Shankar Prasad being welcomed by supporters at Jai Prakash Narayan airport, in Patna on March 29, 2024.

BJP candidate from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat Ravi Shankar Prasad being welcomed by supporters at Jai Prakash Narayan airport, in Patna on March 29, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seems to have drawn inspiration from INDIA bloc ally Lalu Prasad who gave reins of power to his wife upon coming under the dragnet, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged on March 29.

The former Union Minister was talking to reporters in Patna, on his first visit to his home town after the party declared his candidature from Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat for a second consecutive term.

Also Read | Kejriwal’s wife launches WhatsApp campaign to garner support for AAP leader

Mr. Prasad, who held the Law and Justice portfolio in the first seven years of Narendra Modi's Prime Ministership, was asked about the Aam Aadmi Party chief's refusal to give up his post, nearly a week after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a case of money laundering.

"These days Mr. Kejriwal's wife seems to have become quite active. She can be seen in the chair that her husband used to occupy as the Chief Minister of Delhi," Mr. Prasad said.

Notably, Mr. Kejriwal's wife, Ms. Sunita, who stayed away from politics while her husband was at the helm, has come out with a couple of impassioned video statements in the recent past.

Mr. Prasad referred to Mr. Kejriwal's association with the INDIA bloc, which has among its members the RJD president who, in 1997, got himself replaced by his wife Rabri Devi as the Bihar Chief Minister when faced with imminent arrest in a fodder scam case.

"Maybe as an ally, Mr. Kejriwal has learnt a few tricks from Lalu Prasad. So much for claims of probity in public life, he made while spearheading the Anna Hazare agitation," remarked the BJP leader.

He also derided the INDIA bloc for claiming that the March 31 rally in Delhi, in protest against Mr. Kejriwal's arrest, was aimed at "safeguarding democracy".

"They have got the permission for the rally in the national capital where they will, in all likelihood, continue with their calumny against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What better proof of the robustness of our democracy," the BJP leader said.

Replying to a query about seat-sharing in Mahagathbandhan, he said, "In their camp, it seems free for all. It would be worth watching how many squabbles they get into till we reach the stage of filing nomination papers."

Also Read | Pappu Yadav hints at rebellion; Congress deeply unhappy with seat sharing in Bihar

"In the NDA, we part ways gracefully. We are not spewing venom against BJD and Akali Dal despite their failure to have a truck with them. When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned, some in our party may have felt it was time to assert our supremacy. But our top leadership decided to give due respect to the JD(U) supremo," he said.

Asked about the weightage given to Chirag Paswan that caused his estranged uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras to exit the Union Cabinet, the BJP leader said, "We wanted both to come together. It could not happen and we would not like to comment on their personal and family equations. Under the circumstances, we chose to align with the one we found to be politically more promising."

The former law minister's attention was also drawn towards a letter written to CJI D.Y. Chandrachud by "over 600" lawyers to express "concern over attempts to undermine the judiciary's integrity".

The letter was shared on social media by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who accused the Congress of "browbeating and bullying others" and, while in power, having called for a "committed judiciary".

Signatories to the letter have been accused, by their critics, of indirectly attacking the CJI who has signed the BJP with the electoral bonds verdict.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We are proud of the judiciary. Those who have been repeatedly rejected by the people in elections must accept the verdict and not try to do politics through corridors of Supreme Court and other courts."

He also charged Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD with "vote bank politics" when asked about their demand for a probe into the death of jailed don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari.

"Vote bank politics makes people do strange things. These people were wary of attending the consecration of Ram temple at Ayodhya but they want a judicial inquiry into the death of an ailing person," Mr. Prasad added.

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