AAP-CBI Row: Congress, In U-Turn, Backs Agency Raids

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 August, 2022 11:45 pm IST
Congress leaders Pawan Khera and Alka Lamba

In a stark U-turn to its stance on the misuse of central agencies, the Congress on Friday tacitly backed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s raids at the residence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi’s Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia.

CBI carried out searches at 21 locations, including the premises of Sisodia and several others spanning seven states. Congress took the opportunity to hit back at the AAP – who dethroned them in the national capital in 2013.

In response to the CBI searches at Sisodia’s premises, Pawan Khera, Congress’ communication head, told The New Indian, “The flip side of the relentless misuse of agencies against political rivals is that even legitimate actions of an agency come under a cloud of suspicion.” He said, “In the process, the corrupt get away by hiding behind the ‘misuse’ argument and the honest end up paying the price.”

Alka Lamba, who was earlier associated with AAP and was also an MLA from Chandni Chowk, took the opportunity to lambast her former party. In a video statement, Lamba said, “Today a team of CBI has reached the residence of Sisodia. And today, honest people have been proved dishonest.”

She said: “On the basis of the Chief Secretary report, LG VK Saxena found the irregularities in the new excise policy of the Delhi government and the Congress welcomes the step.”

“No one will ask Sisodia if his policy was an honest policy, then why did he take it back and why did he once again bring back the policy of the Sheila Dikshit government, whom they accused of being corrupt,” she asked.

Targeting the AAP, the Congress leader said, “If the AAP leaders are honest, then why is their health minister, Satyendar Jain, been in jail for the last two months?”

“Why did the AAP and its leaders not hit the streets? Today, Sisodia claims that they have made the future of children in Delhi. No, you have actually ruined the future of children in Delhi. Ask any woman in the city. You provided one bottle of liquor free for buying one,” she claimed.

She also targeted the Delhi government by saying that the AAP government reduced the drinking age in Delhi to 21 and when the women staged a protest against its excise policy, they were beaten by the women marshals. “This is nothing but a staunch dishonest face of yours (AAP) that has been exposed today,” she said.

“We demand that the Delhi Deputy Chief minister should not escape the probe and face it. And the AAP must not project it as a poll plank for assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. We will also pressurise the CBI to carry out a fair and thorough probe into the matter and complete the probe on time,” Lamba said.

“Now the real honest faces of AAP have been exposed as Punjab’s and Delhi’s Health Minister are in jail and now the Deputy Chief Minister, who is also holding the portfolio of Excise, will also face the music of the law,” she added.

Incidentally, the very same Congress targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government for misusing the central agencies after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Rahul Gandhi and interim party chief Sonia Gandhi.

After the ED summoned Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in connection with the alleged money laundering probe involving National Herald, the Congress hit back at the BJP. It alleged political vendetta as several party leaders and workers hit the streets after the two leaders appeared before the agency.

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