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Arvind Kejriwal will remain Delhi Chief Minister, run government from jail: Atishi

As the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Arvind Kejriwal in the excise policy case, Delhi minister Atishi on Thursday said the former will remain the Chief Minister and “run the government from jail if needed”.

Addressing media persons, Atishi alleged that Kejriwal’s arrest was a “political conspiracy” by BJP-led central government in the run-up to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. She also said that Kejriwal “is, was, and remain the Delhi Chief Minister”.

“We have said earlier that if needed, Kejriwal will run the government from jail. He can run the government as no rule can prevent him from doing that. He has not been convicted and so he will remain as the Delhi Chief Minister,” Atishi said.

She alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “scared” of Kejriwal and asserted that probe agencies did not find a “single penny” during the investigation into the excise policy case.

“With a huge number of police and paramilitary forces present (outside Kejriwal’s residence), it was clear that the ED would arrest him. In the past two years since the investigation started, the ED and CBI raided the homes of AAP ministers, MPs and MLAs. They have not found a single penny,” the minister said.

Lashing out at PM Modi, Atishi said, “I want to tell the Prime Minister that Arvind Kejriwal is not only a person, he’s an ideology. He is scared of Kejriwal. And, Kejriwal is, was and will remain the Delhi Chief Minister. There is no question about it.”

She further said that the AAP has approached the Supreme Court and filed a case against his arrest. Kejriwal is scheduled to be produced before a special court on Friday.

ARVIND KEJRIWAL ARRESTED BY ED

Kejriwal’s arrest, the first of a sitting chief minister, came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection to the AAP national convenor from any coercive action by the ED. It also came after the arrest of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha last week. She is presently in ED custody in the same case.

The ED had recently alleged in a statement that Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and some others “conspired” with top AAP leaders like Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia to get favours in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy by paying Rs 100 crore to the political party that rules Delhi.

The case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are in judicial custody in the case.

Kejriwal’s name has been mentioned multiple times in the charge sheets filed by the ED. The agency has alleged that the accused were in touch with Kejriwal for formulating the excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them in return for which they paid kickbacks to the AAP.

Kejriwal had skipped nine summonses issued by the probe agency for questioning in the Delhi excise policy case, the latest being for March 21. He had called those summonses “illegal”.

(with inputs from PTI)

Published By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Mar 21, 2024


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