The political slugfest between BJP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entered a high-stakes phase with the Indian Union finance minister Arun Jaitley ultimately filing a defamation suit in the Patiala House court against AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpayee, for defamatory statements against him and his family members in the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) case. He has sought a compensation of Rs. 10 crore.
Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of the attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the Delhi’s cricket body, Delhi and District Cricket Association, of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.
Importantly, the AAP leaders had raised allegations over the money spent on the construction of a Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in the Indian capital Delhi, and the related sponsorship deals with a company for use of the private boxes. The outspoken Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of his party have publicly been making allegations against the minister with regard to the DDCA affairs.
The Indian Union finance minister alleged that the AAP leaders had “collectively undertaken a false/malicious defamatory campaign to gain political mileage and other unwarranted benefits at the cost of causing irreversible damage” to him and his family, as they were “political opponents of the BJP”. Mr. Jaitley also said that such wrong and defamatory misinformation against the plaintiff and his family members is a counter-blast to a CBI search of a bureaucrat in the secretariat of the Government of NCT Delhi in mid-December, 2015. Importantly, the complainant has chosen not to provide any legal notice to the Delhi CM and other AAP leaders asking them to apologize or face defamation cases. Instead, he has filed the complaint straightaway in the courts.
The minister has also rubbished allegations against his family members, asking that Why should his family are part of a sports management business. Jaitley has also received support from the India Test captain Virat Kohli and other cricketers belonging to Delhi including Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, and etc. "Grateful to have @arunjaitley ji as the president of our association. He has always wanted to improve the game and help cricketers in every way", the Indian Test Captain, Kohli tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party hit back and its leader and the senior Supreme Court advocate HS Phoolka filing a caveat in the Delhi High Court on behalf of the AAP leaders.