Pro-Khalistani Kejriwal a threat to country's security: BJP
Ahmedabad, May 01: With Arvind Kejriwal criticising Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil for heading the party's state unit despite being a non-Gujarati, the latter hit back at the AAP's national convener, calling him a "threat to the country's security" as his party gives responsibility to people with "Khalistani mentality".
Kejriwal's non-Gujarati jibe at Paatil made at a rally in Bharuch district during the day, triggered a war of words between the Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is eyeing to contest the Assembly polls in the state scheduled by the end of this year.
The BJP slammed Kejriwal for "uttering nonsense" and being an "expert liar with connections to Khalistanis and Naxalites", while the AAP called Paatil a "threat" to Gujarat.
The verbal clash between the two parties and their leaders occurred on the day when Gujarat and Maharashtra celebrated their foundation day.
"Giving responsibility in his party to people with Khalistani mentality and believing that making a demand for Khalistan is a constitutional right, @ArvindKejriwal is a threat to the security of the country," Paatil tweeted in Gujarati.
Paatil's tweet came after Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal questioned his appointment as the president of the BJP's state unit and asked whether the saffron party could not get a Gujarati leader to head the state unit.
He raised the issue while addressing the 'Adivasi Sankalp Mahasammelan' rally in Bharuch district during the day.
Hours after the rally, Kejriwal also tweeted saying, "@CRPaatil of Maharashtra is the president of Gujarat BJP. Didn't the BJP get a single Gujarati for its president? People say, he is not only the president, he runs the Gujarat government. He is the real Chief Minister. This is a gross insult to the people of Gujarat. BJP people, give Gujarat a Gujarati president."
Responding to Kejriwal's comment on Paatil during the rally, state BJP spokesperson Yagnesh Dave said the AAP leader was uttering "nonsense" as he was scared of the popularity of CR Paatil and the BJP.
"Kejriwal is an expert liar with connections to Khalistanis and Naxalites," Dave alleged.
"He is here to divide the country by saying this man is Gujarati, that man is Marathi. It is the foundation day of both Gujarat and Maharashtra, and his statement is an insult to the people of Gujarat and Maharashtra," Dave said.
He said the BJP could have similarly questioned him for being born in Haryana and becoming the chief minister of Delhi.
"We could have accused him of the same, but no, the BJP's sanskar does not allow this. But you have no sanskar," he said.
In response to the tweet from Paatil, a Member of Parliament from Navsari Lok Sabha constituency in south Gujarat, AAP state president Gopal Italia called him a "former bootlegger" and a "threat to Gujarat '' to whom people of state will teach a lesson.
"Kejriwal is a staunchly honest and patriotic man. Thinking very well for the people of the country, Kejriwal gives people education, health, electricity and water. The former bootlegger is a threat to Gujarat. The people of Gujarat are going to teach a lesson to the former bootlegger and make an honest government in Gujarat," Italia tweeted in response.
After his arrival in Surat Saturday, Kejriwal responded to Patiala anti-Khalistan march clash and said that the Punjab government has taken strong action and nobody will be spared.
In reply to a question on slogans supporting creation of Khalistan during the riots there, the AAP convener said "aise kuch nahi hone denge (will not allow anything like that)".
He said anyone who tries to disturb the peace of Punjab will be dealt with strictly irrespective of which party he belongs to.
A group calling itself Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), which had called an 'Anti-Khalistan March', and some Sikh groups clashed in front of a temple in Patiala, leaving several people injured in the violence in which stones and swords were used.
Twenty-five people were booked for the incident, while three senior police officials from Patiala region were shunted out by the AAP government under Bhagwant Mann there.