Can’t stop Kejriwal’s rising popularity, says AAP as it slams CBI raids

Updated on Aug 19, 2022 04:43 PM IST

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the real motive behind the raids was not to probe into Delhi government’s 2021-22 but to dent Kejriwal’s popularity

AAP leader Sanjay Singh. (PTI)
AAP leader Sanjay Singh. (PTI)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot stop chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rising popularity as he linked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s raids in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy to that.

He said the real motive behind the raids was not the probe into the policy but to dent Kejriwal’s popularity. “Had liquor policy been an issue, a probe should have been ordered into Gujarat hooch tragedy [in July],” said Singh. “Modi cannot stop the rising popularity of Kejriwal.”

Singh said Kejriwal has launched a campaign to make India the world’s number one country. “AAP formed the government with full majority in Punjab [this year]...AAP’s reforms in education and health are resonating with the people of the country. Modi is obsessed with stopping Kejriwal and puncturing the education and health models [of Delhi]. Modi cannot stop Kejriwal or the education or health models.”

The CBI carried out raids at Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s residence and 20 other premises after registering a case. Delhi’s lieutenant governor VK Saxena last month recommended a federal probe into the excise policy. The Enforcement Directorate earlier in May arrested Delhi’s health minister Satyendar Jain in connection with a money laundering case.

Saxena sent a complaint to the CBI to look into several procedures that were allegedly tweaked to benefit private liquor barons and individuals.

Sisodia, who is also the excise minister in the Aam Aadmi Party government, steered the 2021-22 excise policy introduced in November 2021.

Saxena’s complaint was based on chief secretary Naresh Kumar’s report on July 8, which referred to benefits to private liquor barons “in lieu of financial benefits to individuals at the highest level leading up to the minister in charge of excise and finance”.

The issues cited included a refund of 30 crore to a bidder, a tweak in the calculation of a levy on imported beer, the purported relaxations in provisions in tender documents for private retail licensees, the waiving off of 144.36 crore of licence fee due to the pandemic lockdown, and allowing bid winners to open alternate vends.

Singh said the CBI will not find anything against Sisodia. “...previous raids conducted against Kejriwal, and Sisodia in cases against over 40 lawmakers did not reveal anything. These [fresh] raids will also not reveal anything. The raids will expose the central government.”

Singh said Kejriwal’s governance has gained international popularity. “You have put the health minister who revolutionised the health sector in jail...now you are preparing to put the education minister [Sisodia] in jail too. Kejriwal’s model is based on education and health reforms and becoming popular in the whole world,” said Singh.

He slammed the central government’s narrow-mindedness and added it should have been happy that Kejriwal’s education model is being appreciated globally.

Kejriwal and Sisodia too said raiding teams will find nothing. Kejriwal said the CBI raid at Sisodia’s residence was the result of their good performance being appreciated globally.

Union minister Anurag Thakur hit out at AAP and said this is not the first case of corruption against the party. “There has been huge corruption...” He asked Kejriwal to stop treating people as fools. “The Delhi chief minister did not even suspend Satyendar Jain when he was arrested. The real face of AAP, Kejriwal, and Manish Sisodia has come in front of the public,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Alok K N Mishra is a journalist with the Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He writes on governance, policy and politics. He is an ardent follower of politics and is fascinated about making politics work better for the middle-class and the poor. He loves to discuss and predict the national political behaviour. Before shifting to Delhi, he covered political instability, governance, and misgovernance besides Maoists insurgency in Jharkhand for almost half a decade. He started out in 2010 as a city reporter with Times of India, Patna.

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