New Delhi: An all-out war broke out between BJP and AAP on Monday after East Delhi MP Mahiesh Girri sat on an "indefinite fast" a few metres away from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence even as the latter kept on demanding the former's "arrest" in connection with the murder of an NDMC official.
BJP MPs Subramanian Swamy and Manoj Tiwari and party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya lent weight to Girri's protest, who has vowed not to end his fast till the AAP chief "apologises". Swamy launched a scathing attack on Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, accusing him of taking Congress' guidance.
Vijayvargiya said he has urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to order a probe into the case so that all the doubts are cleared. Girri also wrote to the Delhi Police Commissioner saying that he was ready to be questioned and face arrest if the probe demands so.
Girri, whom his supporters dubbed as the "lion of East Delhi", accused Kejriwal of "running away" from a debate, while Kejriwal sought to turn the tables on BJP asking the people to decide as to "who is dharna party of India".
"He (Girri) shud be arrested n interrogated by Modi police in MM Khan murder case. Modi police shielding him...If Del police were wid us, Mahesh Giri n Karan Singh Tanwar wud have been arrested and interrogated by now in MM Khan murder case (sic)," Kejriwal tweeted.
In a press conference, the AAP alleged that Girri "accompanied" Ramesh Kakkar (an accused in Khan's murder case) to the LG's office in connection with a hotel lease which was to be decided by the official, MM Khan.
Showing the copy of a "covering letter" purportedly written by Girri, Delhi AAP convenor Dilip Pandey alleged that it was attached to the hotel owner Kakkar's letter to put pressure on Jung.
Khan's family demanded that Girri's role be probed into the case for the sake of a fair investigation.
"Roles of all the individuals whose name have come up related to the case should be investigated. Even the Chief Minister has demanded just that," one of Khan's daughters said.
Posters came up at the protest venue, which was lashed by heavy rains in the afternoon, describing Kejriwal's refusal for a debate on the matter as a "tweet-and-run-case".
NDMC Vice Chairman Karan Singh Tanwar, who was present at the demonstration site, said he would file civil and criminal defamation suits against Kejriwal. AAP has alleged Tanwar's involvement in the case as well.
Delhi BJP leaders Vijender Gupta, Vijay Goel and Vijay Malhotra also showed up at the protest venue "in solidarity" with Girri.
On the purported evidence produced by the AAP to prove his involvement in the case, Girri said he writes thousands such covering letters to the LG which has no bearing with the murder issue.
"It is unfortunate that AAP is politicising the issue solely because the surname Khan is involved. I am mulling legal action," Girri said.
Vijayvargiya said that party president Amit Shah has asked him to tell Girri to not take Kejriwal "seriously".
He said the party wants Girri to have at least water, a plea that the MP turned down.
Swamy, who was one of the first BJP bigwigs to turn up at the dharna site, mounted a sharp attack on LG Najeeb Jung, accusing him of seeking "guidance" of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel.
Swamy, in a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee, also said that he has information to suggest that the Jung was playing a "mischievous role" in "abetting" Kejriwal at the behest of Congress to embarrass BJP.
"He (Jung) has no work other than making rounds of Ahmed Patel's place. He (Jung) should have spoken out for MPs like Girri and he should have ordered Kejriwal to provide documents or apologise," Swamy told reporters.
He also said Jung should have categorically told Kejriwal that if he does not substantiate his allegations against Girri or apologise, then he would recommend to the Centre dismissal of the AAP government.
Khan, an estate officer of NDMC, was shot dead in Jamia Nagar on May 16, a day before he was scheduled to pass the final order on the lease terms of a hotel located on a property leased out by the civic body.