The Aam Aadmi Party has said it will seek the court’s permission to have Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal working from jail in case he is arrested by the Enforcement Directorate. At a meeting today, the party MLAs have told Mr Kejriwal that even if the Central agency arrests him, he should run the government from jail.
“We are going among the people. The people are saying that atrocities are being committed against the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal. That is why, all the MLAs requested the Chief Minister today that even if he goes to jail, he should remain the CM. The people of Delhi have elected him as CM and he should remain the CM,” said Delhi minister Aatishi.
“We will go to court and seek permission to hold the cabinet meeting in the jail itself,” she added.
Mr Kejriwal was summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the alleged money laundering angle in the liquor scam, on November 2. He skipped the questioning, and predicted that he would be arrested soon. He has earlier been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI.
Mr Kejriwal’s former Deputy, Manish Sisodia, had stepped down from the cabinet post after his arrest in February. He is still in jail. Last week, the Supreme Court turned down his bail petition, saying tentative evidence has been established by the investigating agencies.
In a 41-page order, the court accepted the argument of the CBI that there is a “carefully hatched conspiracy” to ensure that a select few make windfall gains. The policy “facilitated getting bribes” from wholesale distributors who are “assured of exorbitant profits”.
The agency contends that liquor companies were involved in framing the scrapped 2021 excise policy, which would have brought them a 12 per cent profit. A liquor lobby it dubbed the “South Group” had paid kickbacks, part of which was routed to public servants, it said. The Enforcement Directorate alleged laundering of the kickbacks.
The BJP claimed the money was used to fund AAP’s campaign in Gujarat, in which it got 12.91 per cent votes and established itself as a national party.
AAP has claimed that the BJP is out to destroy it with systematic arrest and jailing of its leaders in concocted cases.
“The Central government has only one objective — to destroy the Aam Aadmi Party at any cost… For this, they are leaving no stone unturned, including creating a fake case. The idea is to send Arvind Kejriwal to jail and destroy the Aam Aadmi Party,” senior AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj has said.