Written byShalini Ojha
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party for calling him a "terrorist" and reminded of his "sacrifices" for the country.
Addressing media on Thursday, the chief of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said he sat on hunger strike against corruption twice, despite being a diabetic.
The 51-year-old said he put his life at stake, yet was given demeaning names.
Delhi will vote on February 8, and results will be declared three days later. Kejriwal is hoping to be elected as CM again, while BJP has turned the election into a battle of pro and anti-India forces.
The saffron party is dedicating a lot of time to Shaheen Bagh protests and has claimed Kejriwal is siding with forces trying to split India.
In a bid to discredit Kejriwal, BJP leaders are making the fight personal. Last week, parliamentarian Parvesh Verma launched an attack on Kejriwal, saying that if he returns to power Shaheen Bagh-type protests will happen frequently.
Claiming it was a pattern, Verma then spoke about the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990.
"This has happened in Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits," he said.
"We hear instances of Hindu women picked up by Muslim men... no action is taken as terrorists like Kejriwal are hidden everywhere. "Should we fight with Pakistan terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorists like Kejriwal?" Verma went on.
Today, Kejriwal addressed a brief press conference where he berated the controversial remarks.
He said, "How have I become a terrorist? I've arranged for medicines... did so much for the needy. I've never thought of myself or my family... I am ready to give my life for the nation."
He reminded that he needs to take insulin, but didn't let it affect his dedication.
"Every doctor said Kejriwal won't live more than 24 hours, I put my life on line for the country. In the last 5 years they have left no stone unturned in harassing me, raided my home, my office, registered cases against me," Delhi's CM said.
Further, Kejriwal, who holds a degree from the prestigious IIT-Kharagpur, said he could have opted for a cushioned life.
"I could have gone abroad... so many of my friends and colleagues did. I gave up my job... does terrorist do all this?," he said, and added, "I leave this up to Delhi to decide... am I their son, their brother or a terrorist."
Of late, Kejriwal has been making impassioned appeals to voters and called himself Delhi's "elder son".
In an interview with a news channel, he said like an elder son he arranged for the pilgrimage of parents, thought about the education of younger ones, and cut electricity and water bills of the house.
Will ditching the "Aam Aadmi" title reap benefits for him? Time will tell.
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