New Delhi, Jan 23
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused the Election Commission of promoting bribery by banning him from telling people to take money from other parties but vote for the AAP.
Kejriwal’s letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi comes after the poll panel censored him on Friday for violating the Model Code of Conduct and warning of stern action.
Kejriwal was accused of “deliberately and intentionally” instigating the public to take bribes for voting in the Goa assembly election of February 4.
“The allegation is baseless. The truth is I am trying to curb bribery. The whole nation knows the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was born to fight corruption and bribery and is committed to put an end to them,” Kejriwal wrote in his letter.
Kejriwal said he was not instigating people to take bribes.
“What wrong am I saying? If I asked them to vote for the same party that they take money from, that would be bribery. I am telling them not to vote for the party which gives them money,” he wrote.
“My statement will reduce bribery. When parties distributing money will realise that people won’t vote for them even after taking money, they will stop distributing money,” he added.
Kejriwal said the people of Delhi voted for AAP even after taking money from the Congress and the BJP and these parties would think twice before distributing money again as “they would feel it is of no use”.
“By stopping me from making my statement, the Election Commission is promoting bribery instead of curbing it. A Delhi court has also ruled that my statement doesn’t instigate anyone to take bribes,” he wrote.
Kejriwal said the Election Commission was trying for 70 years to prevent the use of money to lure voters but this had only gone up.
“If the Election Commission accepts my statement and advertises that people should not vote for parties that offer them money, I assure parties will stop distributing money in two years,” he said.
BJP attacks Kejriwal
The BJP on Monday attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning the independence of the Election Commission (EC).
“Kejriwal considers himself to be the chief justice of Indian politics and has declared that the EC is no more a body of integrity rather functions on the directions of the PMO. He says the EC has lost all its credibility,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra told the media.
Unhappy with the EC censuring him for his “bribery” remarks made while campaigning in Goa, Kejriwal has talked about contesting the order in a court. Later speaking to an English daily, he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “controlling” constitutional institutions including the EC.
Reprimanding the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader for violating the Model Code of Conduct, the EC warned of stern action against him.
Speaking at rallies in Goa on January 8, Kejriwal said people should not just accept Rs 5,000, but demand Rs 10,000 from politicians keen on offering them money, but vote for the AAP.
“EC is not the only institution attacked by Kejriwal. There is hardly any institution, whether it is the judiciary, EC, the Prime Minister, he has not attacked.
“Actually all this is a reflection of his frustration, he knows he has lost the polls even before the election has begin,” said Patra.
“Kejriwal had a dream of being the chief minister of Delhi on odd days, chief minister of Punjab on even days and Goa chief minister on holidays. On realising that his dream will not come true, he is frustrated and making such remarks,” Patra added.