New Delhi, April 24:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday apologized for not stopping his speech at a rally where a farmer committed suicide but other political parties slammed him, dismissing his apology.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “An apology isn’t enough. Can’t make the farmer a spectacle, showpiece of your office… can’t dramatize a suicide scene.”
Kejriwal and the AAP have come under widespread criticism for not stopping the rally the moment it became known that the farmer had hanged himself.
Kejriwal admitted that he should not have continued with his speech against the land ordinance after the incident but pointed out that he was to originally speak for an hour but spoke only for 10-15 minutes.
“I think that was my mistake. Probably I should not have spoken. If that has hurt anyone’s sentiments, I would like to apologize,” the AAP founder leader told ANI in his first comments on the Wednesday incident.
“I am guilty. Blame me,” he said. “But please focus on the real issue of the farmers and desist from politicking.”
Gajendra Singh, a farmer from Rajasthan, hanged himself from a tree at the venue of the Aam Aadmi Party meeting. AAP activists rushed him to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “An apology is not enough. He (chief minister) did not do what he should have done.”
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati told the media: “I want to tell Kejriwal that by apologizing, the farmer (Gajendra) will not come back to life.”
Kejriwal insisted that the “real truth” behind the episode would be known only after an inquiry.
He added that everyone was appealing from the AAP stage to help Gajendra Singh who was on the tree.
“I don’t think anybody present would have thought that a person would commit suicide. When (he was brought) down, he was still alive,” Kejriwal said.
AAP workers rushed him to hospital, he said, adding that no blame game was needed. It’s “not right to blame police as well”, he said.
Delhi Police has accused AAP activists of preventing them from going to the rescue of the victim. The AAP has denied this, and instead accused the police of not acting promptly. (IANS)