Media persons on boycotted Aam Aadmi Party’s press conference after party leader Kapil Mishra branded a reporter as a member of ruling BJP when the latter sought his comments on a controversy surrounding Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s comments on surgical strikes.
“The kind of questions you are asking, it seems that you are a member of BJP,” said Mishra, a minister in Delhi government, when the reporter of a local news channel asked him to explain AAP’s stand against the backdrop of Kejriwal’s comments on surgical strikes by Army across LoC.
The question was put to Mishra when he was briefing media about recent visit of AAP leaders to home of a deceased ITBP jawan hailing from Gujarat’s Amreli district.
Taking a strong objection to Mishra casting aspersions about the reporter, the media persons present at the presser boycotted the event. The press conference was called by Mishra to give information about Kejriwal’s upcoming rally on 16 October.
At beginning of the presser, Mishra, along with Gujarat AAP in-charge Gulab Singh, paid tributes to ITBP jawan Bhavesh Rakasiya who was injured in an avalanche and died on October 4.
“It is shameful that the BJP and it’s government in Gujarat have not announced any compensation for the family of that martyr. It uncovers the real face of BJP and its leaders who always talks about patriotism. We demand that state government should pay Rs 1 crore as compensation (to the jawan,” said Mishra.
Amid political slugfest over the surgical strikes, BJP had alleged that Kejriwal had sought proof of the Army action, though AAP has denied the charge.
“BJP leaders are taking credit of surgical strikes by putting up their posters. On other side, these leaders are maligning Kejriwal’s image by accusing him of insulting Army. We have also learned that BJP workers have tore apart or blackened our CM’s posters in city. This is not Gujarat’s culture,” said Mishra.
When some reporters asked him why he is seeing BJP’s hand in such acts, Mishra retorted, “it’s obvious because they are in power here and afraid of AAP’s rising popularity among the masses.”
Mishra, however, tried to put media in dock when some reporters asked him whether he had any evidence to support his claim that such vandalism has been carried out by BJP workers and not by AAP cadres to gain publicity ahead of the rally.
(With inputs from PTI)