BJP accuses Delhi CM of running away from the truth and putting up a fake facade of ‘honesty’ to mislead people.
T he Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons skipped by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the now-withdrawn excise policy has sparked a war of words between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and opposition BJP in the capital. By citing ambiguity in the summons and using it as a ploy to stay away from the grilling, Kejriwal has once again displayed his growing political acumen and tactically set the stage for gaining voter sympathy in the Hindi belt from the episode. Meanwhile, the BJP accused Kejriwal of running away from the truth and putting up a fake facade of “honesty” to mislead the people.
Considering that Kejriwal’s colleagues, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, former health minister Satyendra Kumar Jain and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, are in prison in connection with the excise policy case, the AAP convenor’s “master stroke” of raising questions on the alleged ambiguity in the summons has given him a temporary reprieve from a possible arrest so that he can wholeheartedly campaign for the party in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, among other states, going to the election this month.
While ED was left mulling over its next move, Kejriwal played to the galleries in MP election rallies as he kept highlighting the “political misuse” of enforcement agencies and the foiled attempt by the BJP to bog him down in Delhi and prevent him from campaigning in other states.
“You can jail Kejriwal’s body but how can you arrest Kejriwal’s spirit and thoughts,” Kejriwal shouted during a rally in Singrauli Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh. The state unit president Rani Agrawal is contesting from the seat in the 17 November election in which the new party is trying to project corruption as a big issue.
The dramatic day was capped by an ED’s fresh raids on nearly a dozen premises linked to Delhi minister and AAP leader Raaj Kumar Anand and some others for alleged customs evasion during imports and hawala transactions.
AAP Delhi state convenor Gopal Rai alleged that the ED and other investigating agencies are not independent and that the BJP has been responding on behalf of the ED as well as the CBI. His party colleague Saurabh Bhardwaj said there were ambiguities in the summons sent to Kejriwal by the ED. “It is not clear if he is being called in his capacity as Delhi Chief Minister or AAP’s national convenor.”
Delhi BJP chief Virednra Sachdeva countered the allegation of BJP’s hand in the episode by saying, “It remains to be seen for how many more days corrupt Kejriwal will manage to dodge investigators.”
“The day the Supreme Court denied the bail plea of Sisodia it became clear that the scale of the excise policy scam was more than Rs 338 crore. Sisodia is a part of this scam and it is clear that AAP leaders pocketed large amounts of money as part of a conspiracy,” said Sachdeva.
BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said Kejriwal is the mastermind of the Delhi excise policy scam and this has become clear from his aversion to facing the ED on the issue. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said after Kejriwal used an excuse to avoid questioning by the ED it won’t be an exaggeration to say that he is the scam kingpin has virtually accepted his role in the wrongdoing and corruption.
Former Union minister Vijay Goel said that when Kejriwal came to power he had promised voters that he would send the corrupt to jail, even if they were his ministers. But when it was time for him to face an inquiry himself, he was running away from the investigating agency.