New Delhi: BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi, who attended the Republic Day celebrations on Monday, mocked AAP rival Arvind Kejriwal for "playing sob sob" over not being invited on the occasion.
Bedi, who in 1975 had led the Delhi Police contingent, was seen seated in the VIP enclosure at the venue.
"I think he is playing sob sob. I think he must grow up. Invitations come not when you desire. They come by something else but they are never demanded, they come by rules and regulations, by protocols whatever it is," Bedi told a TV channel.
The AAP accused the government of "politicising" the occasion by not inviting Kejriwal.
"It is for the country to see what is being done. How a sacred occasion like the Republic day is being politicised. the camera was focusing a little extra on her," senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said.
He also accused the government of using state power for political gains by repeatedly focusing the cameras on her.
"The camera was focusing a little extra on her. People realise when state power is used for political gains. I do hope the Election Commission was also watching," he said.
Days ago, the AAP chief had claimed the Centre had not extended him an invite to attend the Republic Day celebrations, triggering sharp reaction from his party and the Congress.
"I haven't got any invitation. If protocol says it should be sent, then they should have sent it to me. If not, then they shouldn't. There shouldn't be any politics over it," Kejriwal had told reporters.
Although the BJP rubbished the AAP's criticism saying Kejriwal would have been extended a "special invitation" if he had requested.
"A special invitation could have been extended to Mr Kejriwal on his request. There is no precedent or protocol of inviting any former CM on one's own volition. I think the AAP should stop making such remarks," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
A government official said as per order of precedence, the former Chief Ministers are not included in the protocol list.
"The Republic Day celebration is for the common man. Right from the beginning, he was against VIP culture. Now he says he will only attend Republic Day on invitation?" another party spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted, "Kiran Bedi is invited/given front row. Arvind was not even extended invitation for Republic day parade. Politics even this pious day? Shame."