Delhi's poll battle over the infamous "obscene pamphlets" against Atishi took another ugly turn on Friday after Gautam Gambhir, the BJP candidate from East Delhi, came out with his third challenge to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the rival AAP. The former cricketer came down heavily on the Aam Aadmi Party on being accused of involvement in the alleged distribution of "obscene and derogatory" pamphlets against his AAP rival Atishi.
Taking to Twitter, Gambhir threw an open challenge to Kejriwal, saying he will hang himself in public if they can prove their allegations, otherwise the latter should quit politics. "Challenger Number 3 to Arvind Kejriwal and AAP. If he can prove that I have anything to do with this pamphlet filth, then I will hang myself in public. Otherwise Arvind Kejriwal should quit politics. Accepted?" the tweet read.
Challenger Number 3 to @ArvindKejriwal and @aap. If he can prove that I have anything to do with this pamphlet filth, then I will hang myself in public. Otherwise @ArvindKejriwal should quit politics. Accepted?— Chowkidar Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 10, 2019
On Thursday, the cricketer-turned-politician said he would withdraw from the Lok Sabha contest if the charge was proved against him and also threatened to file a defamation suit against the leaders of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
"I declare that if its proven that I did it, I will withdraw my candidature right now. If not, will u quit politics?" Gambhir said in a tweet adressed to AAP chief Kejriwal and party's East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Atishi.
During a press conference in the national capital on Thursday, Atishi, accompanied with Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, burst into tears while reading a pamphlet containing "obscene and derogatory" remarks against her. She alleged that the pamphlets containing derogatory remarks about her as well as her family were distributed by Gambhir at housing complexes in East Delhi. "I had welcomed Gambhir myself when he joined politics but I never imagined that he would stoop to this level in the Lok Sabha polls," Atishi said.
The former cricketer, on the other hand, slammed Kejriwal in a series of tweets, saying he was "ashamed" to have him as the chief minister of Delhi. "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 Jhadu (broom) to clean ur dirty mind," Gambhir tweeted.
In a statement, the political greenhorn said there were five women in his family and that he would not resort to such "petty" politics. "I will not let the AAP leaders go scot-free. I will file defamation suit against them," he said.
The political atmosphere in the national capital vitiated hours before the poll campaigning concluded on Friday evening, with the BJP and the AAP indulging in a bitter blame game. While AAP leaders slammed Gambhir on social media and other platforms for stooping so low, Gambhir claimed that the "petty politics" exhibited by the AAP was the reason why people with good intentions stayed away from mainstream politics.
All the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi is scheduled to go to polls in a single phase on May 12. The counting of votes for seven phase Lok Sabha elections would be taken up on May 23.