India’s Election Commission (EC) has ordered that an FIR be filed against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal for his comments about bribes at a rally in poll-bound Goa earlier this month. The EC also said on Sunday that a compliance report regarding legal action against Kejriwal must be sent to it by 3pm on Tuesday, at the latest. The EC took to task the Delhi chief minister on Jan 21 for “asking Goa voters to accept bribes” from the political parties that were offering it, but vote only for his party.
At a Jan 8 rally, the chief minister also told the voters to ask for Rs10,000 when offered Rs5,000 by workers of rival parties and to accept only new currency notes.
The EC said his comments were an exhortation to accept bribes. It added that if he didn’t stop making such statements, it would derecognise AAP. The chief minister feels that his remarks are actually about stemming corruption and bribery. Being asked to not say what he did amounts to saying “accept bribes and vote for the person who bribed you”, Kejriwal believes.
Last week, he tested the EC’s patience further by asking if he could repeat his comments on bribes. “I hope you (the EC) will review the issue and will allow me to repeat my comments,” he said in a letter to the EC, which he tweeted as well.
“We have shown this in Delhi election. People took money from the BJP and Congress, but voted for us. If the Election Commission uses my statement and propagates it then in two years the political parties will stop distributing notes,” Kejriwal said in the letter.