The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a scathing attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday over the ‘illegal arrest’ of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga by the Punjab Police, even as the AAP maintained that the Punjab Police followed due procedure in arresting Bagga and accused the BJP of protecting a ‘hate-monger’.
Bagga was detained on Friday morning by the Punjab Police in connection with a case of inciting enmity and criminal intimidation filed against him on April 1 in Mohali. However, on the way to Mohali, the Haryana Police halted the Punjab Police squad near Kurukshetra and handed him over to the Delhi Police. They returned him to the capital.
The BJP accused the AAP of abusing the state apparatus to frighten political opponents who dared to criticize Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. During a news conference at BJP headquarters, senior BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Delhi BJP chairman Adesh Gupta, and BJP national spokespersons Nupur Sharma and RP Singh blasted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for abusing authority to settle political scores.
The AAP claimed that Bagga’s detention was not motivated by vengeance and termed the BJP a ‘party of gangsters’. Sirsa claimed that the AAP had harmed people’s religious feelings. ‘ He (Bagga) was even forbidden from wearing the turban. Punjab’s chief minister is a Sikh; how does he tolerate this? Today’s move clearly demonstrates that the Punjab administration is governed from Delhi,’ Sirsa stated.
Gupta continued, ‘Arvind Kejriwal is exploiting the state apparatus to frighten anybody who dares to challenge or expose him. The Punjab police department has issued letters to such individuals and is initiating action against them. Is it a crime in a democracy to ask a CM a question?’
Tajinder Bagga was summoned five times by Punjab Police, according to AAP leader Atishi, but he refused to participate in the probe. ‘The unlawful effort by Delhi and Haryana Police to prevent Tajinder Bagga’s arrest reveals the true character of the BJP. Tajinder Bagga has been charged with incitement of communal disturbances by the Punjab Police. The BJP is doing everything it can to defend him since it is a party of thugs,’ she said.
According to AAP spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj, the BJP refers to it as revenge politics since it is how they utilize the state apparatus to achieve their objectives. ‘NIA, ED, and Income Tax summons and searches are increasingly routine for opposition politicians,’ Bharadwaj remarked.