Surat: Media persons on Sunday boycotted Aam Aadmi Party's press conference after party leader Kapil Mishra branded a reporter as a member of ruling BJP when the latter sought his comments on a controversy surrounding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's comments on surgical strikes.

The kind of questions you are asking, it seems that you are a member of BJP, said Mishra, a minister in Delhi government, when the reporter of a local news channel asked him to explain AAP's stand against the backdrop of Kejriwal's comments on surgical strikes by Army across LoC. The question was put to Mishra when he was briefing media about recent visit of AAP leaders to home of a deceased ITBP jawan hailing from Gujarat's Amreli district. Taking a strong objection to Mishra casting aspersions about the reporter, the media persons present at the presser boycotted the event.

Mishra tried to put media in dock when some reporters asked him whether he had any evidence to support his claim that vandalism has been carried out by BJP workers and not by AAP cadres to gain publicity ahead of the rally.

The press conference was called by Mishra to give information about Kejriwal's upcoming rally on October 16. At beginning of the presser, Mishra, along with Gujarat AAP in-charge Gulab Singh, paid tributes to ITBP jawan Bhavesh Rakasiya who was injured in an avalanche and died on October 4. Amid political slugfest over the surgical strikes, BJP had alleged that Kejriwal had sought proof of the Army action, though AAP has denied the charge. "BJP leaders are taking credit of surgical strikes by puttingup their posters. On other side, these leaders are maligning Kejriwal's image by accusing him of insulting Army. We have also learned that BJP workers have tore apart or blackened our CM's posters in city. This is not Gujarat's culture," said Mishra.

When some reporters asked him why he is seeing BJP's hand in such acts, Mishra retorted, it's obvious because they are in power here and afraid of AAP's rising popularity among the masses.

PTI