New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party slammed Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal for attracting anti-national elements after AAP chief met controversial cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan, who had issued a fatwa against Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.
On Friday Kejriwal had said that he had appealed to Tauqeer Raza to campaign for the AAP. "No matter which party Tauqir aligns himself with, he is one of our country's great personalities. I came here to appeal to Tauqeer Raza to campaign for AAP."
Taking a u-turn Kejriwal had on Tuesday said, "We do not have any alliance with him. There is no plan of him campaigning for us."
Arvind Kejriwal is on the backfoot over meeting and seeking the support of an influential though controversial Muslim cleric from Bareli. Khan is perceived to be a hardline Muslim leader who runs a political outfit called Intehad Millat Council and enjoys the status of a state minister in Akhilesh Yadav's government.
Khan said, "There are some ideals in every political party. Keeping those in mind, I will do what is required to deliver a political solution to the people."
During the 2010 riots in Bareli, Khan was even detained by the police allegedly for making provocative speeches. The question which is raised is why is Kejriwal seeking Taukir's support.
Kejriwal defended his move saying he had gone to Bareli to offer a chaddar. He said, "I didn't know all this in the first place. And when I spoke to him, he told me he doesn't believe in the politics of violence."
According to Kejriwal, Khan told him that he was also part of a hundred member board that had issued a fatwa against Bangaldeshi writer Taslima.
Taslima wrote on Twitter, "A politician asks for support from anti-women, anti-free speech, Muslim fanatic, who illegally sets price on people's heads."
Kejriwal, Khan meeting has also provided an opportunity to the Opposition to slam AAP.
BJP leader Subramanium Swamy said, "It's disgusting to think AAP will ask for the support of a man who once said a woman's head should be chopped off because her beliefs don't align with his own."
For the AAP, so far riding high on hope and optimism, this is the first trial by fire.