Farrukhabad is readying for a showdown of sorts between supporters of the India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal and that of the the recently-elevated minister Salman Khurshid amid tight security.
While denouncing Kejriwal move to "defame" the Congress leader, supporters of Salman Khurshiud donned masks reading 'Main Bhi Salman Khurshid' said the minister was elected by 18 lakh voters. Khurshid was recently elevated as the Minister of External Affairs from being Union law minister.
Khurshid supporters said their men were waiting at various locations in the city to counter Kejriwal's activism, even as the IAC activists showed their determination to protest against misappropriation of funds by a trust run by Khurshid.
Security has been stepped up in Farukkhabad in view of protests planned by Arvind Kejriwal and his associated against alleged irregularities by the trust run by Union Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife.
At the Lohia Park in Farrukhabad's Awas Vikas, where Kejriwal's rally is scheduled to begin at 1pm, some supporters have begun gathering. India Against Corruption banners and posters dot the venue. The administration expects 10,000 people to attend the rally.
The farmers are extending their support to Kejriwal because he has been taking on political parties for acquiring land from farmers under false pretexts and then handing it over for large profits to businesses.
Arvind Kejriwal's was stopped by the minister's supporters en route to Farrukhabad.
The activist-turned-politician motorcade was stopped in Malikpur, nearly 30 kilometres away from Farrukhabad, by protesters who waved black flags. They all wore 'Main hoon Salman Khurshid' caps.
Arvind Kejriwal reaches Farrukhabad to take his anti-corruption battle to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's constituency.
While Kejriwal's supporters said Farrukhabad belonged to the common man and not Khurshid, Congress workers said they won't let Kejriwal's rally be successful.
There were reports of clashes between India Against Corruption activists and Congress workers at the venue.
The windows of a car were smashed by Congress workers as it headed towards the rally ground.
The car was transporting members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, an organisation of farmers that is supporting Kejriwal.
The police has intervened and the situation has been brought under control.
Kejriwal has taken to the stage and has started speaking. Here are some points he made.
- About 20-25 people showed us black flags on our way here
- We dare Khurshid to stop us
- People who feel we are lying and Salman Khurshid is correct, we invite them on the stage to debate over the issue
'Who is Khurshid trying to threaten'
"I want to tell Khurshid that we have come to Farrukhabad and will be returning tonight. If he can do anything then let him do. Who is he trying to threaten?" said Kejriwal.
Holding a report prepared by Akhilesh Yadav, Kejriwal said:
"Investigation by the UP government into misuse of funds started during Mayawati's regime and ended during that of Akhilesh Yadav. Officers in Mainpuri, Kannauj have said that their fake signatures were used in the report submitted by Khurshid's NGO."
Kejriwal asked people of Farrukhabad to not vote for Salman Khurshid in the 2014 assembly elections.
With a reference to Sonia Gandhi, Kejriwal said that it was shameful that Khurshid would give his life for a woman.