A special court on Tuesday remanded a senior Delhi official and four others in CBI custody for five days as the investigating agency accused the Arvind Kejriwal government of spreading a “pack of lies” over the alleged corruption case.
Though the CBI had sought 10-day custody of Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar, the court of Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar granted five days’ custody.
Kumar, a 1989 IAS officer, along with deputy secretary Tarun Sharma, Kumar’s close aide Ashok Kumar and owners of a private firm, Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Gupta, were arrested on Monday in the graft case.
The CBI has charged Kumar, known to be close to Kejriwal, of abusing his official position to favour the private firm in getting tenders of Delhi government departments.
“It is a historical case in Indian democracy…A pack of lies is being spread in the media that Rajendra Kumar is holding the government like a ‘Seshnag’ and if he goes, all the (Delhi) government will go,” the CBI told the court.
In Indian mythology, Seshnag is the king of all snakes, has numerous hoods and is said to hold all the planets of the universe under his hood.
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Kumar, opposed the remand application saying there was no allegation that Kumar gave any pecuniary advantage or any wrongful loss to anybody.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and Congress mounted pressure on Kejriwal to resign for alleged corruption under his watch.
The Delhi unit of BJP said it will start a signature campaign demanding resignation Kejriwal and alleged that the chief minister was supporting Kumar despite the CBI charges.
“Be it in Kejriwal’s first 49 days stint or the present regime, Rajendra Kumar has manipulated funds worth over Rs 200 crores…Kumar seems to be the parrot in whom Kejriwal’s soul is stuck and with him in CBI net the entire Kejriwal gang now fears the outbreak of their corrupt sagas,” Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also launched an attack on Kejriwal for defending Kumar and accused the chief minister of mastering the art of playing the victim card.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, dismissed the allegations, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not like educated and talented people in the Capital.
“A climate is created where talented people don’t want to stay and work here,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.