NEW DELHI : A man punched the chief of India’s anti-corruption party twice in the face during a campaign stop in the capital on Friday, three days before the start of national elections in the world’s biggest democracy.
The motive for the attack on Arvind Kejriwal, head of the Aam Admi Party, or Common Man’s Party, was not immediately known.
Party official Devendra Sehrawat said supporters overpowered the attacker and handed him over to police. He was not immediately identified.
Kejriwal, who continued campaigning, appealed to party members to stay calm and not be provoked by the attack. During the past month, Kejriwal’s opponents have damaged the windshield of his car with sticks and thrown eggs and ink at him.
His party delivered a stunning upset in New Delhi’s regional election in December, launching Kejriwal to national renown and a 49-day stint as the capital’s chief minister. He quit the post, saying the entrenched political system prevented him from enacting real reforms. He said his scrappy party would focus instead on national elections.
Kejriwal has led protests and hunger strikes against government corruption. They include sit-ins demanding public access to government documents, lower electricity rates and transfer of control of the New Delhi police from the federal Home Ministry.