Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, a vocal critic of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday accused the Aam Aadmi Party chief of siding with those responsible for the Republic Day violence in the city during a tractor parade by farmers protesting the centre’s new agricultural laws.
He suggested Mr Kejriwal had failed to condemn the violence to protect his party’s prospects in Punjab where the farmers’ movement has found the biggest support. The AAP is the main opposition party in the state.
Contrary to Mr Gambhir’s claims, however, the Delhi Chief Minister denounced the violence and called for the strictest punishment for those responsible while speaking at the ninth national council meeting of the AAP on Thursday.
Shri Amit Shah visited our bravehearts who despite facing life threatening situations showed restraint. But not a word of condemnation against the mob by CM @ArvindKejriwal. It is clear he wanted Delhi to BURN! #PunjabOverDelhi
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 28, 2021
The BJP leader, whose party has flunked in the last two Delhi elections settling for only a handful of the capital’s 70 assembly seats while the AAP scored landslide victories, frequently takes on Mr Kejriwal and his party on social media.
On Thursday, Mr Gambhir also retweeted a video of Union Home Minister Amit Shah visiting the Delhi Police personnel injured in Tuesday’s violence that left one protester dead and dozens hurt.
Speaking about the clashes between protesters who strayed from agreed routes and clashed with the police in central Delhi including the historic Red Fort, Arvind Kejriwal said it was “unfortunate” but it would not end the farmers’ movement against the three agricultural laws.
“The violence on Republic Day was unfortunate and whoever is responsible for it must be given strictest punishment. But the violence will not lead to the end of the farmers’ movement against the laws, the issues remain so the movement cannot end. We have to peacefully extend our support to the protesting farmers,” the Chief Minister said.
“Whoever is responsible for the turn of events, and I am not referring to the ones against whom police have registered fake cases, deserve to be punished. Whoever is responsible, whichever party is responsible should be acted against,” Mr Kejriwal said.
The AAP has strongly come out in favour of the tens of thousands of farmers protesting the agricultural laws on the outskirts of Delhi since November.