New Delhi: With Arvind Kejriwal upping the ante against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on host of issues, her cabinet colleague Arvinder Singh Lovely on Sunday launched a counter attack on the Aam Admi Party leader, accusing him of trying to benefit BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The Urban Development Minister even claimed that the AAP will withdraw from the electoral fray at an "appropriate time" as it will be "managed" by the BJP.
"Kejriwal and his group used to say that they would follow Anna Hazare`s directions. Now they are doing something different which Hazare was totally opposed to. They have, in fact, ignored Hazare.
"This is democracy and every citizen has the right to contest election. But I am sure they will not contest. They will be managed by BJP. It is `B` team of BJP. They will run away from the elections. I hope they keep their word and contest the elections," Lovely said.
Questioning Kejriwal`s credibility, he said people of the city will not be influenced by the "misinformation campaign" launched by the AAP leader and his supporters.
"These are people who are easily manageable. That is why I am telling them that don`t run away. They should not run away from the elections."
The AAP leader has been attacking Dikshit for steep rise in power tariff in the last two years and has accused her of siding with the private power distribution companies, besides targeting the Delhi government for "widespread corruption" and on a number of other issues.
"First of all, Kejriwal said that all politicians are thieves and now he wants to become one of them. During Anna Hazare`s agitation, they said that they wanted to address the issue of corruption and do not want to get into electoral politics. Now they want to get into electoral politics too," he said.
Questioning credibility of Kejriwal and his group, Lovely claimed the AAP has not yet applied for party symbol from the Election Commission as it was not serious about contesting the polls.
"They have not applied for their party symbol yet. They have not got themselves recognised by the Election Commission. What is their party symbol? Can anyone tell me? Like they have ran away from every statement they made earlier, they will also run away from contesting elections. I challenge them. If they respect their words, they should contest," Lovely said.
Kejriwal has already announced that he will contest against Dikshit in her New Delhi constituency in the Assembly polls slated for November. The AAP leader had also said that if she decides to contest from another seat, then he will also contest from there.
Couple of weeks ago, AAP volunteers had distributed pamphlets in New Delhi constituency asking people to support him.
The party earlier this month had released a second list of 44 shortlisted candidates for 10 assembly constituencies.
Asked about the assembly polls, Lovely said Congress was confident of coming back to power for fourth straight term as Dikshit in her 14 year tenure has ensured remarkable development of the national capital.
"We followed an agenda of inclusive growth which benefited every section of the society," he said.
Last week, Dikshit`s political adviser Pawan Khera had accused Kejriwal of making personal attacks against the chief minister saying the language used by him was "unbecoming of an educated man".
"While you are free to take a political stand against individuals and policies, kindly refrain from such personal attacks which reduce politics to a cheap gimmick," the letter said.