New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday came down heavily on Arvind Kejriwal after he called Narendra Modi a "coward" over CBI raids at his principal secretary's office, demanding that the Delhi CM apologise for his comments on the Prime Minister of the country.
"Arvind Kejriwal should apologise to the Prime Minister for using words like 'coward'. It is totally uncalled for, unwarranted and shameful," Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press conference.
Prasad sharply reacted to the Kejriwal's comment and accused him of not undertaking 'due diligence' while appointing his principal secretary.
"Allegations against Rajendra Kumar are very serious. Should we presume that you did not undertake any due diligence while appointing your secretary," Prasad said.
Other senior BJP leaders too had hit out at Kejriwal for his statements against the Prime Minister.
"It has become a fashion with the Delhi Chief Minister to quarrel with the Central Government and that, too, to take the name of the Prime Minister for each and everything. The CBI does not function under the government," Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said.
Senior BJP leader Naidu said "unlike during the Congress regimes", the NDA Government does not "misuse" CBI and allows it to function independently.
"Gone are the days of the Congress government when CBI would be misused. Today, CBI is an independent organisation and Government does not interfere at all. So, how can you criticise the Government of India and the Prime Minister," he asked, adding government does not monitor the CBI.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed Kejriwal's reaction as "atrocious" and accused the latter of "protecting" corrupt and engaging in "worst kind of politics" by targeting Modi for the same.
"Arvind Kejriwal's reaction on the CBI raid is atrocious. CBI raids only when they receive a credible complaint and they want to investigate the corruption matter. Kejriwal is protecting corruption.
"And instead of immediately taking action against his officials, he is accusing the Prime Minister. This is worst kind of politics," he added.
He maintained it was "hypocrisy of politics" that Kejriwal's party came into existence on the plank of anti-graft movement but is supporting corruption now – an apparent reference to AAP's angry reaction to CBI's raid at Delhi Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar's office.
"When CBI is acting against corruption, he is accusing PM of corruption. This is absolutely unacceptable. He (Kejriwal) is exposed through and he is protecting corruption," Javadekar said.
BJP's Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi defended CBI saying it does not take action without "substantial" evidences. "If CBI raids, it does so with substantial evidence. One of their officer is already trapped on similar charges of corruption. So, it is not the PM asking anyone to engage in corruption, they only are resorting to such (corrupt) practice," party MP Meenakshi Lekhi said.
Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed the CBI has raided his office in central Delhi and launched a no holds barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was resorting to "cowardice".
The Chief Minister, who is involved in a prolonged tussle with the Centre, accused the Modi government of resorting to vendetta politics and came down heavily on the agency for the raids at Players Building.
In a series of tweets, Kejriwal also rubbished Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's claim that the CBI raid had got "nothing to do" with the former's tenure as Delhi Chief Minister.
Accusing the CBI of "lying", Kejriwal maintained that his own office was raided and that files of "CM office are being looked into".
CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
"CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants? FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse," Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister said he would have acted against Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar had the CBI shared relevant evidences with him.
If CBI had any evidence against Rajender, why didn't they share it wid me? I wud hv acted against him(2/2)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
"I am the only CM who dismissed, on my own, a minister n a senior officer on charges of corruption and handed their cases to CBI. If CBI had any evidence against Rajender, why didn't they share it wid me? I wud hv acted against him," he said....