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Twitter stands with Atishi, slams Gautam Gambhir for misogyny

Atishi found support from social media users who lauded the Oxford graduate for her courage

By Amrapali Jana in Calcutta
  • Published 10.05.19, 12:00 PM
  • Updated 10.05.19, 12:41 PM
  • a min read
AAP East Delhi candidate Atishi at a media conference in New Delhi on Thursday (PTI)

AAP's East Delhi candidate Atishi on Thursday broke down while reading a pamphlet containing "obscene and derogatory" remarks against her, that she alleged was distributed in the constituency by her rival, BJP leader, Gautam Gambhir. 

The cricketer-turned-politician categorically denied this charge. The BJP accused the AAP of staging the entire incident.

Gautam Gambhir sent a notice to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Atishi demanding that they withdraw the allegation and tender an unconditional apology over the matter.

"You can't tarnish someone's image without proof. I have never given a negative statement against any opposition candidate in my election campaigning," he said in a press statement.

While Manish Sisodia alleged these pamphlets were kept in newspapers and distributed in apartment complexes, Arvind Kejriwal said he "never imagined Gautam Gambhir would stoop so low".

"How can women expect safety if people with such mentality are voted in? Atishi, stay strong. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you. It is precisely this kind of forces we have to fight against," the Delhi chief minister tweeted.

Social media was quick to pick up on the controversy and the hashtag #IStandWithAtishi rapidly gathered mileage with thousands of tweets denouncing the pamphlet. 

Several prominent women condemned the pamphlet. 

Journalist Barkha Dutt attacked the misogynistic language of the pamphlet. 

For political commentator Dhruv Rathee, the pamphlet was hardly a surprise. He pointed out that as the BJP has no agenda to discuss it has to resort to abusing rivals. 

Author Saba Naqvi declared that after the smear campaign, Atishi now has her support. 

Columnist Seema Goswami too came to Atishi's aid and criticised the pamphlet for its sexist language and tone.  

Atishi breaking down while discussing the pamphlet compelled many women to pledge their support for her. People took to Twitter to make their feelings about the pamphlet clear. They used the #IStandWithAtishi to show their solidarity to her. 

Politicians too called out the slander that Atishi had to face. 

Atishi had earlier raised objections to Gautam Gambhir's candidature and complained to the Election Commission that he had voter ID cards from two assembly constituencies. The complaint had been rejected. 

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