Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, whose hug with the tainted Lalu Prasad in Patna last week led to criticism from his party and from others, said on Monday that the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief pulled him in for a hug and that he hadn’t intended it to happen.
“At Nitish Kumar’s swearing-in, Lalu Yadav shook my hand, pulled and hugged me. I did not take any initiative,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader said at his party’s National Council meeting in New Delhi. “We are against his record of corruption and we will always oppose it,” he added.
Ruling out any alliance with Lalu’s RJD, Kejriwal said he is opposed to the “dynasty politics” that was witnessed in Patna with two of Lalu’s sons sworn in as ministers in Nitish’s Cabinet. The younger one, Tejaswi Prasad, is now Bihar’s deputy chief minister.
“We are against his record of corruption and we’ll always oppose it,” Kejriwal told his partymen. Lalu is currently barred from contesting elections after he was convicted and jailed last year in a fodder scam case.
The AAP organizer said his party is not in the 2019 general elections race, due four years later. “We are not in the race for 2019.
4 years ago, none of us presumed coming to electoral politics and contesting elections, let alone winning. So the journey has been nothing less than a miracle,” he said.
But he once again targetted the BJP-led government at the Centre, with which he has had a hostile relationship since returning to power earlier this year. “I challenge anyone to compare our work with the Modi government. We have worked more than any BJP or Congress government,” he claimed.
Kejriwal addressed his party members, a group of AAP rebels protested outside the venue, accusing him of inviting “select” members for the National Council meeting and “suspending” members without prior notice.
Dissident AAP leader Shanti Bhushan, one of the founding members of the party and father of the expelled rebel leader Prashant Bhushan, has threatened legal ation against the show-cause notice served to 40 National Council members and denial of the invite to nearly 100 other members.