Farrukhabad: Anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday took his battle against Union Minister Salman Khurshid to his home turf in Farrukhabad where he addressed a rally against the Congress leader and asked the people to not vote for him in 2014 General Elections.
"I want to ask people of Farrukhabad if they will elect Salman Khurshid again or not. Stealing money meant for handicapped is the worst crime I have ever seen. I earlier said that a handicapped person should stand against Khurshid. Khurshid responded back by threatening us," said Kejriwal.
The India Against Corruption member also hit out at Khurshid for threatening him over his decision to protest in Farrukhabad. Pointing that Khurshid had said that Kejriwal might come to Farrukhabad but how would he return, the activist-turned-politician said, "I want to tell Khurshid that we have come to Farrukhabad and will be returning tonight. If he can do anything then let him do. Who is he trying to threaten?"
There were clashes between Congress workers and Kejriwal supporters before the IAC member addressed the rally in Khurshid\'s constituency.
Kejriwal also asked those protesting against his rally and showing black flags to come on stage and have an open debate with him on the differences. He said, "We were shown black flags when we were coming to Farrukhabad. Who all were showing us black flags? I invite them to stage, let's have an open debate," he said.
The India Against Corruption member then targeted UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi accusing her of being silent over the issue. He further demanded that Khurshid must be arrested in the alleged scam involving his trust.
Earlier on Thursday, ahead of Kejriwal's address, there were clashes between his supporters and Congress party workers. The clashes, however, took place away from the rally arena. The police had to intervene following which the situation was brought under control.
Kejriwal had announced holding the rally after alleging that Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, the NGO run by Khurshid and Louise, was involved financial bunglings while implementing schemes meant for welfare of physically-challenged people.
Referring to his march along with a group of physically-challenged people on October 12 in New Delhi, Kejriwal criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not meeting the group.
"We had tried to meet the PM but police stopped us on ground of security...he (PM) is scared of 60 physically-challenged people. He should resign. I feel pain that this country is being run by such a PM," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal referred to Uttar Pradesh government's report of June 12, 2012 and alleged that "of the 14 districts, forged signatures were used in 10 to 11 for withdrawing money and now only lodging of FIR".
Terming the misuse of funds meant for the welfare of the handicapped as the worst form of corruption, he suggested a handicapped be fielded from here against Khurshid. "I have come here to tell you that please do not elect him again. Money meant for welfare of handicapped people has been stolen. There cannot be a more shameful act than this. We have been fighting against corruption for years but never came across this kind of graft.
"Please field a physically-challenged person against Khurshid and ensure his win", he said.
The IAC activist also did not spare UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who had earlier stated that an inquiry was on into Khurshid's NGO. "It's like Alibaba and 40 thieves ... all of them
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Salman Khurshid, Chidambaram are one...Yadav has a case against him in the apex court.. Akhilesh would save Salman and the Centre would save Mulayam Singh", he charged.
Kejriwal claimed a report by the local administration found "gross irregularities" committed by the NGO in implementing welfare schemes for physically-chalenged people.
"There was a probe here...It proves wrongdoing by Khurshid....In the report, officials in Mainpuri said the signature of the district welfare officer in the test check report on beneficiaries was forged," he alleged.
"When I had raised the issue, he threatened me... He said 'I have been made the Law Minister and asked to work with the pen. I will work with the pen but also with blood'", he said.
He said his fight to expose corruption of politicians and remove the fear from the minds of the common people would continue till 2014 as the meaning of politics is not corruption but to serve the people.
Kejriwal said he would continue to make expose against graft till there is a change in the system and would next focus on how the rates of power and water have seen an "unprecedented" hike.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)