Atishi claims Gambhir distributed derogatory pamphlet

Atishi, who was accompanied by Deputy Delhi Chief Minister Manish Sisodia during a press conference, broke down as she read out the pamphlet in front of reporters. Image courtesy: ANI/Twitter

In a vicious low in electioneering, an "obscene and derogatory" pamphlet against AAP candidate Atishi was distributed in East Delhi constituency prompting her party to point fingers at her BJP rival Gautam Gambhir, who called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “filth” while rebutting charges.

Atishi broke down during a press conference while reading out from the pamphlet, which was in English and titled 'Atishi Marlena – Know Your Candidate'. It was distributed along with newspapers in localities in East Delhi like Krishna Nagar

While AAP alleged it was done at the behest of Gambhir, the cricketer-turned-politician denied it saying it was the handiwork of the “dirty tricks” department of Atishi's party. He also claimed he will quit politics if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Atishi can prove it and threatened a defamation suit against AAP leaders.

At the press conference, an emotional Atishi, who was flanked by Deputy Delhi Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, said she had welcomed Gambhir when he entered politics but now the BJP has stooped to an "unexpected level".

"Gambhir and his party have shown that they can stoop to any level to win an election...My only question to Gambhir is if they can stoop to this level to defeat a strong woman, how will they protect women in their area after becoming MPs?" she said.

The pamphlet is also a question for the entire country on what kind of politics is being practised, especially against a woman,” she said.

In a tweet, Kejriwal said, "never imagined Gautam Gambhir to stoop so low. How can women expect safety if people with such mentality are voted in? Atishi, stay strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you. It is precisely this kind of forces we have to fight against."

Sisodia said people had clapped when Gambhir when he used to hit fours and sixes while playing for India. "We never in our worst dreams, had thought that this man would stoop this low to win an election," he said.

In his reaction, Gambhir tweeted, "I abhor your act of outraging a woman’s modesty, Arvind Kejriwal and that too your own colleague. And all this for winning elections? You are filth Mr CM and someone needs your very own broom to clean your dirty mind."

"My challenge No 2, Arvind Kejriwal, Atishi I declare that if it's proven that I did it, I will withdraw my candidature right now. If not, will you quit politics? I feel ashamed to have a Chief Minister like Arvind Kejriwal," he added.

Gambhir said no one can tarnish someone's image “just like that” if they don't have proof.

I have never given a negative statement against anyone so far in my election campaigning.

If Arvind Kejriwal does not get the proof, does he accept the challenge that he will leave politics forever on May 23?” he asked. 

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