24/04/2015 8:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

AAP Used Farmer As 'Pawn' In Politics, Says BJP


NEW DELHI: Targeting AAP over the suicide tragedy at its rally against the NDA government's land ordinance, BJP today charged that the ruling party in Delhi had used a farmer as a "pawn" in politics by "inciting" him to end his life.

"Inciting a farmer to commit suicide and, even after he has committed suicide, continuing with the rally... this was politics. We did not do politics," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Gajendra Singh, a farmer from Rajasthan, hung himself during an AAP rally at Jantar Mantar here which was attended by, among other prominent party leaders, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"Those who held the rally and those who are responsible for the farmer's death, they did politics. To ridicule a farmer in such a way and making a farmer a pawn in politics is very wrong," said Javadekar.

Under fire over the handling of the episode, which has snowballed into a major controversy, Kejriwal today apologised for not calling the rally off immediately on Wednesday and admitted that his making a speech was a "mistake".

The blame game over the farmer's suicide has escalated with the government and Delhi Police accusing AAP of having instigated the farmer while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed "pain" over the incident and appealed for a collective solution to the "deep-rooted" agrarian crisis.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier laid the blame at the doors of AAP, alleging that its supporters "clapped and raised slogans" and prevented police from engaging the farmer to stop him from taking the extreme step.

Delhi Police in its FIR has accused unnamed AAP leaders and volunteers of having instigated Singh into committing suicide and creating all sorts of obstacles in the efforts to rescue him.

Singh's body was taken to his native Nangal Jhamarvar village in Dausa district of Rajasthan where his last rites have been completed.

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