24/04/2015 3:03 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Aam Aadmi Party Spokesperson Ashutosh Breaks Down On Live TV


NEW DELHI — Former journalist and Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh on Friday broke down completely on national TV and asked for forgiveness from the daughter of the farmer who committed suicide at his party's rally two days ago.

Ashutosh, who only goes by his first name, was connected by phone with Megha, the daughter of farmer Gajendra Singh on live TV. A few minuted into the conversation, Ashutosh took off his spectacles and started sobbing inconsolably as a clearly bemused and much calmer Megha tried to console him.

"We haven't slept at night," Ashutosh said between gasps and sobs, "the leaders of political parties should understand, BJP and Congress is politicizing this. We haven't come here to play this kind of politics. Rajnath Singh should understand this. This is wrong...I am your guilty.." he was seen telling her on Headlines Today.

"I was there. I should have said something," he said.

Megha in turn said she only "blamed only those who didn't save his father.

"His foot slipped. I admit, the leaders must not have seen him. But they could have intervened. The people present there instigated him," she said.

Singh was at the rally in Jantar Mantar when he climbed a tree in front of hundreds of people gathered to hear Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal address farmers. He tied a makeshift noose around his neck and hanged himself before AAP volunteers could reach him. He was rushed to the hospital but declared brought dead. A major political blame game has started since his death with most parties blaming AAP for going ahead with the rally despite Singh's death.

Kejriwal admitted on Friday it was a mistake to have continued with the rally.

Also Read: Kejriwal Admits Not Calling Off The Rally Was A Mistake

The clip of Ashutosh breaking down on TV soon went viral and #AshuCries was trending on Twitter.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who was also part of the panel discussion, said he understood his tears. "I don't want to play the blame game either," he said.

But the tweets pouring in soon after the story was aired were far from charitable, with most users calling it a clever ploy to deflect responsibility for the death that has gripped the nation and drawn attention to the larger cause of thousands of farmers struggling under crippling debt due to crop loss from unseasonal rains. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide across the country, unable to bear the shock of losing their livelihood.

The scepticism on Twitter seemed to stem mainly from Ashutosh's retort to detractors a couple of days ago, that when next time someone commits suicide he would ask Kejriwal to climb a tree to rescue him.