With only two days left for Delhi to vote for the Lok Sabha election, the tiff between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi has intensified over the circulation of derogatory posters against the former's East Delhi candidate Atishi.
AAP on Friday filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) over the derogatory and casteist remarks against her. The party will also lodge complaints with the Election Commission of India and the Delhi Police.
“If BJP and Gautam Gambhir can do this with an empowered woman then how will he ensure security to rest of women? We have filed a complaint with Delhi Commission of Women; we will soon file a complaint with the Election Commission and Delhi Police,” news agency ANI quoted Atishi as saying.
Gambhir, on the other hand, said he would request AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to draft his resignation letter, which he would tender publically, if he is proven guilty.
“If he has proof, then he must bring it today. My resignation would be written by Arvind Kejriwal and I will sign it publicly," he told ANI.
"If they have proof I am ready to take retirement from politics today itself. I will take retirement on May 23 if they come with proof but what if he doesn't turn up with proof? Will he resign as Delhi Chief Minister and retire from politics?" he said.
On Friday, Gambhir sent a defamation notice to Atishi, Kejriwal, and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, demanding an unconditional apology for making "defamatory" comments against him.
This came hours after Atishi, while addressing media in the national capital, claimed that pamphlets were being circulated with derogatory and casteist remarks against her.
Twitterverse, meanwhile, was quick in picking up the controversy and the hashtag #IStandWithAtishi rapidly gained mileage with thousands disparaging the pamphlet.
From senior journalist Barkha Dutt to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, people supported Atishi and told BJP it was "better to lose with dignity than to lose all dignity".
Gambhir too gained his support from netizens who accused the AAP of fabricating pamphlets against their own candidate to gain sympathy votes. #IStandWithGambhir was the top India trend on Friday morning.
Gautam Gambhir also got support from his cricketer friend Harbhajan Singh, who vouched the sportsman was unlikely to disrespect a woman.
Delhi, which has seven Lok Sabha seats at stake, will go to polls on May 12. East Delhi constituency will witness a triangular contest between Gambhir, Atishi and Congress' Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Counting of votes will take place on May 23.