A day before voting in Delhi for the national election, Arvind Kejriwal, the top man of the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP, reached out to two men who have attacked him during his campaign.
Mr. Kejriwal first called on Lali, an auto-rickshaw driver who slapped him in Sultanpuri in northwest Delhi.
Lali was a picture of contrition as he spoke to the AAP leader with folded hands, and tried to touch his feet. “I committed a huge mistake. He is god for me. I did it because he left the government after some days,” he said, referring to Mr. Kejriwal’s resignation in February, after 49 days in power, over the Jan Lokpal bill.
The AAP leader was in an open jeep when Lali garlanded him and then struck him hard on his left cheek, leaving him with a swollen eye. The 38-year-old was immediately tackled to the ground by AAP supporters and beaten. He was taken to a hospital later.
Lali had called Mr. Kejriwal a “liar” and accused him of “betraying auto-drivers.”
Mr. Kejriwal, who called off his roadshow and meditated at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat after the attack, today said the Delhi Police should track down the “mastermind” of these attacks.
“I don’t want security. What’s the use if everyday someone comes and slaps me. The attacks will stop only if the mastermind is caught. The police commissioner said he will trace the mastermind in the next few days,” Mr. Kejriwal said after meeting Delhi Police chief BS Bassi today.
Mr. Kejriwal has blamed political rivals for attacks on him in the past few weeks. He was punched in Delhi’s Dakshinpuri area on Friday and has earlier had ink, mobil oil and even an egg hurled at him in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, where he is contesting against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.