Happy to engage in direct battle with Kejriwal, says Khurshid

London: Law Minister Salman Khurshid today lashed out at Arvind Kejriwal describing him as a man possessed with "burning ambition" who "should know that the free ride is over".

Responding to allegations levelled by Kejriwal about "money bungling" by a trust run by him and his wife Louise, Khurshid said that he would be "happy to engage in direct battle" both in court and in the public domain on the issue.

"Kejriwal is a man possessed not with any noble idea but burning ambition for which he will destroy whatever is in his path. But he should know that the free ride is over. The courts will now decide what is the truth," Khurshid told PTI in an email response.

Salman Khurshid. AFP

The Union Minister said that the spontaneity with which Kejriwal reacted suggests that he "did not even read the papers" unless of course there was prior contact between him and Aaj Tak, which aired the purported sting operation.

"I hate to imagine the fate of unsuspecting citizens whose tax matters would have come before Kejriwal in the few years that he condescended to serve as an IRS officer," Khurshid said.

He also reacted strongly to a tweet by activist and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on the issue, saying her response makes him wonder if people were ever safe in the hands of such police personnel.

In her two posts on the microblogging site Twitter, Bedi said there was "substantial evidence for arrest and charge sheet" in the alleged bungling.

Reacting sharply to it, Khurshid said, "The response of Kiran Bedi makes me wonder if we were ever safe in the hands of such police personnel. But of course the answer to that is readily available from many who served as her contemporaries.

Pity that such people are ruining the case for a sensible and effective Lok Pal."

PTI