Political activist Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday demanded that Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise be arrested as he feared that they would tamper with evidence of alleged irregularities, including suspected forgery of signatures of Uttar Pradesh government officials, in the finances of the NGO run by the couple. The funds sanctioned by the Centre were purportedly meant for disabled people.
Both Mr. Khurshid and his wife have denied the charges.
Addressing his supporters outside the Parliament Street police station, Mr. Kejriwal made clear his intention to stay put at the protest venue until the government acted against Mr. Khurshid. But by late evening, most of his supporters had left and only 50-100 people were still camping there.
“If needed, we will sit here for days. If attempts to save Khurshid are made, the actions of the government would be laid bare and it will stand exposed before the public. If the government seeks his resignation, it will be a victory for our movement and all the physically challenged people here,” Mr. Kejriwal said, in a speech peppered with barbs against the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP.
He said both parties had become India Against Corruption’s “B-Team” and it was IAC that was setting the agenda now. “The day we announced our entry into politics on October 2, we said we would challenge everyone in power. Every day, since then, we have worked hard and done something to make those in the government and the Opposition go into a tizzy.”
Mr. Kejriwal rejected the demand that IAC approach court to follow up on his allegations against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and Mr. Khurshid. “We will not take our allegations against Robert Vadra to court. We have placed the facts before the people. Everyone was saying no one can touch that family or talk against them. Haven’t we? Two media bosses called me to say they had documents against Robert Vadra for six months but did not have courage to bring them out. This fight is to remove fear from people’s hearts.”
Mr. Kejriwal raised the contentious issue of hefty electricity bills in the capital and defended his act of restoring supply to homes which defaulted on their bills. He alleged that crony capitalism was responsible for junking a Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission recommendation in 2010 to cut tariffs and the subsequent steep hike to benefit power distribution companies owned by two big Indian firms. “Those of you who can pay the bill, pay it. Those of you who can’t, fight against it. Let me be very clear. Joining this movement will mean facing lathi blows, court cases and going to jail. Join [us] only if you have the courage to face the consequences.”
Citing Mahatma Gandhi as an example of a person who broke unjust laws, Mr. Kejriwal said laws in the country were made not by common people but by corporates in association with politicians. “Breaking this unjust law [electricity bills] is our responsibility. To change the system, you will have to break the law. If one person is willing to go to jail, a hundred will follow him. If hundred people are ready to go to jail, then a thousand will follow them.”
Earlier, Mr. Kejriwal reached the venue close to noon after his release from overnight detention at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium at Bawana in Northwest Delhi where he and his supporters, including a number of physically challenged persons, were taken after the police stalled their march to the Prime Minister’s residence on Friday demanding Mr. Khurshid’s resignation.