The fight between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the national capital took another turn on Thursday with AAP East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Atishi accusing BJP rival Gautam Gambhir of distributing pamphlets with derogatory and casteist remarks against her. During a press conference on Thursday, Atishi, accompanied by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia broke down while reading out the pamphlet containing "obscene and derogatory" remarks against her.
Atishi said she had welcomed Gambhir, a former cricketer, when he stepped into the politics but now the BJP has stooped to an unexpected level to defame her image. The pamphlet, which was allegedly circulated in residential areas in East Delhi, states that Atishi "is very good example of a mixed breed".
"I have only one question for Gautam Gambhir. If he is doing this against one woman, what about the lakhs of women in east Delhi who are worried about their safety," Atishi asked at the press meet.
AAP East Delhi LS seat candidate Atishi breaks down during a press conference alleging BJP's Gautam Gambhir of distributing pamphlets with derogatory remarks against her says,"They've shown how low they can stoop.Pamphlet states that 'she is very good example of a mixed breed'." pic.twitter.com/z14MXXh574— ANI (@ANI) May 9, 2019
Sisodia, who was also present at the press conference, claimed that the language in the pamphlet was "so abusive and low that everybody will feel ashamed while reading it".
Kejriwal also condemned the incident, saying "Never imagined Gautam Gambhir to stoop so low". Taking to twitter, the AAP chief wrote, "How can women expect safety if people wid such mentality are voted in? Atishi, stay strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for u. It is precisely this kind of forces we have to fight against saying".
Never imagined Gautam Gambhir to stoop so low. How can women expect safety if people wid such mentality are voted in?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 9, 2019
Atishi, stay strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for u. It is precisely this kind of forces we have to fight against. https://t.co/vcYObWNK6y
Barely moments after the video of Atishi addressing the media went viral on social networking sites, Gambhir denied the claim and blamed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for outraging a woman’s modesty in a bid to win the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
"I abhor your act of outraging a woman’s modesty Arvind Kejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections? U r filth Mr CM and someone needs ur very own झाड़ू (broom) to clean ur dirty mind," the cricketer-turned-politician tweeted.
I abhor your act of outraging a woman’s modesty @ArvindKejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections? U r filth Mr CM and someone needs ur very own झाड़ू to clean ur dirty mind.— Chowkidar Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 9, 2019
"My Challenge no.2 @ArvindKejriwal @AtishiAAP I declare that if its proven that I did it, I will withdraw my candidature right now. If not, will u quit politics?," he added.
"I feel ashamed to have a CM like @ArvindKejriwal," Gambhir said in a series of tweets.
I feel ashamed to have a CM like @ArvindKejriwal— Chowkidar Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 9, 2019
Atishi and Gambhir have been at loggerheads ever since the former filed a criminal complaint against the latter for allegedly holding two voter ID cards. Gambhir, however, denied the allegation, saying one makes such remarks for hiding lack of vision and poor performance.
Gambhir, who had last month joined BJP in presence of party bigwigs in Delhi, is pitted against AAP's Atishi and Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
Elections to seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi is scheduled to be held in a single phase on May 12. The counting of votes for seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will be taken up on May 23.