Facing 33 defamation cases, Arvind Kejriwal on an ‘apology’ spree
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been eating humble pie.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday tendered an apology to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari following which the two submitted a joint application in Delhi court seeking withdrawal of a defamation case filed by the former.
In 2014, Mr Kejriwal had called Mr Gadkari “one of the country’s most corrupt politicians” and had been promptly slapped with a defamation case.
In a note to the minister, Mr Kejriwal admitted to “making unverified allegations” and added, “I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same. Let us put the incident behind us and bring the court proceedings to a closure.” After the apology, they both appealed jointly in court that the defamation case filed by Mr Gadkari be dropped.
What more, Kejriwal apologised to Congress leader Kapil Sibal also. A similar letter to Kapil Sibal and his son Amit Sibal refers to comments made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief in 2013 and says “the allegations made against you and father were unfounded”
Last week, the AAP chief had sought forgiveness from Shiromani Akali Dal MLA and general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia for making allegations about his involvement in the drug trade and calling him Punjab’s drug lord. Kejriwal’s apology letter to Majithia for accusing him of being involved in drugs trade had taken everyone by surprise and had also earned the wrath of the ruling Congress and SAD-BJP leaders.
Upset by the capitulation, AAP lawmaker Bhagwant Mann quit as the party’s Punjab unit chief and Aman Arora resigned as his deputy. Later, Kejriwal held a meeting with the protesting legislators and explained to them reason behind the apology. Kejriwal reportedly told the MLAs the decision was taken with the aim of investing energy into development-related work for people of Delhi. His apology was reportedly accepted by the legislators.
Aam Aadmi Party and Kejriwal have reportedly contended that a number of defamation cases against him are hampering party’s resources. Speaking to media, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that party will apologise to whoever it has hurt. “We will apologise to people who we have hurt. We’re here to serve the people, we do not have the time to go to courts for such issues. We’re here to build schools and hospitals for the welfare of people,” Sisodia was quoted as saying by ANI.
The AAP chief, with 33 defamation cases against him in 22 states, has as of today crossed three cases off his list by saying sorry to the complainants. But there’s still a long way to go
Perhaps the biggest challenge on Mr Kejriwal’s “sorry” list is Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who sued the AAP chief over allegations that he presided over corruption as chief of Delhi’s cricket board DDCA. Mr Jaitley went personally to court to file the case, along with three union ministers as witnesses. He also asked for Rs. 10 crore to compensate for what he called defamatory allegations.