Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 01:46:24

Double whammy for Kejriwal

Updated: February 20, 2023 6:08 pm

Troubles are not coming down for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been running the government in Delhi for eight years. Arvind Kejriwal’s party is getting into trouble one after the other. Just after getting relief from the Supreme Court regarding the MCD elections, the alleged liquor scam has raised concerns. When Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is called Kejriwal’s right hand, was summoned by the CBI, the party and the government began to fear his arrest. Sisodia himself sought more time from the CBI, saying he could be arrested.

Sisodia has requested the CBI to defer his questioning till the last week of February as he is busy finalising Delhi’s budget. Sisodia alleged that the BJP is using the probe agency to avenge the Supreme Court setback to it in the MCD. Sisodia expressed apprehension that he would be arrested. Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio of the Delhi government, said he is busy preparing the budget. Sisodia said, ‘As the Finance Minister, it is my duty to present the budget on time and I am working day and night for that. I have requested the CBI to allow me to answer questions after the last week of February.’ He also said, ‘First the BJP lost the election and then on Friday it had to face the Supreme Court as well. So this is its revenge. They (BJP) are using the CBI to take revenge. I am sure it will do this by getting me arrested.’

CBI and ED are probing the alleged liquor scam in Delhi. Central investigative agencies have made Manish Sisodia an accused. Sisodia, who is also looking after the work of the Excise Department, was earlier questioned in this case on October 17 last year as well and his house and bank locker were searched. It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy of granting licenses to liquor traders favoured some dealers, who allegedly paid bribes for the same. The Aam Aadmi Party has consistently denied this allegation.

Political experts say that if Sisodia’s apprehension turns out to be true, then it will be the biggest setback for Arvind Kejriwal so far. He is not only the second-highest leader of the party, but most of the work of the Delhi government is also handed over to him. Sisodia looks after the work of most departments, including education, finance. After another minister Satyendar Jain went to jail in May last year, the responsibility of the health department is also with Sisodia. In such a situation, if the CBI arrests Sisodia, then the work of the Delhi government can be greatly affected.

Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, the biggest leader of AAP, which originated from the anti-corruption movement, are together even before the Anna movement. It is said that every decision taken by Kejriwal at the government or party level has the consent of Sisodia. So Sisodia also executes his work by taking Kejriwal into confidence. In the political life of almost a decade, both have been seen working as complementary to each other. In such a situation, if Sisodia is arrested then the image of the entire party will be affected. Parties like BJP and Congress will turn aggressive on AAP, which calls itself a party of staunch honesty.

posted by uday india

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