Man throws shoe at Kejriwal, detained; parties condemn act (Third Lead)

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New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Alleging a ‘scam’ in the distribution of CNG car stickers ahead of the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, a man hurled a shoe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal while he was addressing a press conference here on Saturday. The shoe missed the target, while the thrower was detained by police.

Ved Prakash of the Aam Aadmi Sena threw the shoe at Kejriwal, alleging fake CNG stickers were being distributed in Delhi ahead of the odd-even scheme. He said he had video evidence of the “scam”. Cars running on CNG are exempt from the scheme.

Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai condemned the incident, saying it “would not deter our aim to provide good governance and our commitment towards a cleaner environment”.

“It’s an act committed by a frustrated man. Incidents like these keep on happening,” he added.

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Water Minister Kapil Mishra said the call records of the man should be checked, adding that he allegedly talked to a BJP leader before the attack.

“Call details of Ved Prakash Sharma should be probed. He called a BJP Delhi leader right before attacking,” Mishra said.

“We have seen many such attacks. We are not scared of it.”

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Raghav Chadda called for a probe, while denying that the man had any links with the AAP. “This man has no link with our party. The incident should be investigated.”

“Delhi Police is responsible for the chief minister’s security. I am sure they will look into the matter,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress condemned the shoe hurling incident.

BJP leader Nalin Kohli said such incidents were becoming a trend and it was “worrisome”.

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“People are crossing limits trying to harm people. What is worrisome is that this is becoming a trend now. He is the chief minister. Somewhere a line has to be drawn. We should come together and decide that this should not be allowed,” he told the media.

However, reacting to the incident, the BJP’s Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay said: “This may be managed by themselves. Earlier also, their own people have done it or it could be an expression of frustration of the people over the working of the government.”

BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain added: “While it’s true that CNG stickers were being sold making odd-even a farce, throwing a shoe is not an appropriate way to protest.”

Congress leader P.C. Chacko also condemned the shoe-throwing but said “it’s due to the authoritarian style of functioning of Kejriwal.

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“This is not the first time this has happened. This has not been done by any other party who are opposing Kejriwal’s party. This is because of the authoritarian style of functioning of Kejriwal. His own party people are rising in revolt.

“Unfortunately, why is this kind of a situation being created by Kejriwal? He has to look into that issue. I think the situation is created by Kejriwal himself. But attacking Kejriwal, hurling shoes at him in a press conference is not acceptable. We condemn that,” Chacko added.

In January, Bhawana Arora of the same little-known group had thrown ink on Kejriwal’s face at an event held to celebrate the success of the first phase of the odd-even scheme at a stadium here.

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