The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has threatened to approach the Election Commission after its rival Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) came out with a campaign advertisement in which it allegedly mocked at Arvind Kejriwal's gotra (sub caste) and by implication, an entire community.
In its advertisement, the BJP targeted Kejriwal's sub caste by calling it 'upadravi gotra', using the word 'upadravi' as a metaphor for anarchy.
The controversy erupted over two caricatured cartoons of Kejriwal in newspaper advertisements. In one of the advertisements, Kejriwal is seen wearing a muffler and pullover with a broom in hand, saying he'll ruin the 26 January celebrations if he is not heard. In the second, he is shown as swearing on his children.
While AAP spokesperson Ashutosh has demanded public apology from the BJP, party its convener and chief ministerial candidate Arvind Kejriwal said he will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.
"I was aghast to see the advertisement. They have been using abusive language for Arvind Kejriwal. They have abused the community from which he belongs. Either they should withdraw the advertisement or apologize publically. We will go to the Election Commission for the same," The Times of India quoted Ashutosh as saying.
Kejriwal said it was unbecoming of the BJP to drag his sub caste into the campaign.
"BJP in the past few days has been giving few advertisements personally attacking me. They attacked me and my children, I kept quiet because Anna used to say that if someone personally attacks you, you should have the strength to bear it. But today they have crossed their limit," PTI quoted Kejriwal as telling reporters.
"They have called the entire community 'upadravi'. BJP's fight is with me, whatever they have to say they should say it against me, they should not attack the entire Aggarwal community," he said and added that the BJP should apologise to the Aggarwal community.
AAP Supporters Condemn BJP
AAP's fans on Twiiter have condemned the BJP for publishing the ads.
"@PiyushGoyal Going By Your Logic Are You Confessing That Your Gotra Is "Rioter" Instead "Agarwal"?" Zaeem Farooqui tweeted.
"@AamAadmiParty Is desperate @BJP4India in self goal mode? Serial Cartoon blunder proves,BJP's intellectual bankruptcy. #PersonalAttack," Dr Rakesh Sharma tweeted.
"Where does the intellectuals of BJP vanish? Heard on news yesterday that all ads would go through Arun Jaitley #ashamedofbjp #PersonalAttack," Abhas Mehrotra said in his tweet.
"During UPA 2 time AAP was doing work of opposition and BJP netas were sleeping in their bungalows. #MyCMKejriwal #PersonalAttack," Vinay Kumar Sahu tweeted.
Not only the AAP fans are unhappy with BJP's move, even those who support the saffron party is disappointed in it.
"BJP has gone to a new low. Attacking personally on caste is not acceptable. As a BJP supporter I'm upset today," Amol kataria tweeted.