Arrest timing awful, AAP will win 4 seats: Delhi locals back Kejriwal bail

| Updated: 10 May, 2024 9:14 pm IST
The New Indian team talks to the locals of Delhi on CM Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail.

NEW DELHI: Hours before the Supreme Court granted interim bail to CM Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy scam, a posse of Delhiites rallied behind him while claiming his innocence.

Amid a hectic exchange of volleys between ED and Kejriwal’s battery of lawyers led by senior advocate and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, apex court Justice Sanjiv Khanna, presiding over a two-judge bench with Justice Dipankar Datta, said, “We are passing an order giving him interim release till June 1, 2024.”

The bail order is cinched to lift the morale of the beleaguered party that was facing collapse even as top AAP leaders have gone into a huddle over the past month, holding back-to-back campaigns in his absence.

ALSO READ: ED arrests Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police at his home after HC order – THE NEW INDIAN 

Speaking to The New Indian, Narendra Taneja, an electric shop owner, said, “Elections are around the corner; it’s only fair to grant him bail for campaigning. Let the public decide his fate. The Supreme Court can proceed with the case after elections.”

Purushottam Batra, a stationery shop owner from Laxmi Nagar, averred, “The timing of the arrest couldn’t be worse. With the elections at their peak, it seems fishy. When asked if it will impact the election result, he said, ‘It will greatly impact the election in Delhi. Kejriwal will win all four seats if allowed to campaign.”

Geeta Devi, a resident, stated,” He’s the only Chief Minister who has truly served the public. We trust him. He must be granted bail.” On Tuesday, the ED had opposed the suggestion for interim relief and urged the Bench not to carve out a separate class for politicians just because they want to campaign for elections.

Citizens in Delhi didn’t look convinced by ED’s arguments in the court. Businessman Ashish Gupta weighed in, “Every candidate has the right to a fair election. Kejriwal deserves bail. If he’s guilty, the probe can continue post-elections.”

Vijay Kumar, a local shopkeeper, added, “He’s the Chief Minister of Delhi; you can’t just jail someone based on accusations. Interim bail must be given. Delhiites love Kejriwal ji; there’s no CM like Kejriwal.”

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Passing the judgement today, Justice Sanjiv Khanna also added, “It is the election season. He is the elected Chief Minister of Delhi. The elections are around the corner. These are extraordinary situations. It’s not normal… He is not otherwise a habitual offender or somebody who has been involved in any other case.”

Kejriwal, who has been elected thrice from the same seat, has been denied bail by the Delhi High Court previously. In Kejriwal’s absence, his wife Sunita Kejriwal, a retired IRS Officer, was spearheading the campaign for Kejriwal.

On Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also reached Tihar Jail to meet Sunita.

Shortly after Kejriwal was granted interim bail, Sunita, tweeted on X with sincere gratitude, while calling the verdict a “victory of democracy.”

Hanuman ji ki jai! Yeh loktantra ki jeet hai. Lakhon aur karodon logon ki duaon aur aashirvaad ka fhal hai. Sabhi ko koti koti dhanyawaad”, (‘Praise to Lord Hanuman’! This is the victory of democracy. It is the result of the prayers and blessings of millions of people. Many thanks to everyone.)

Addressing a press conference, Delhi Minister and AAP leader Atishi said that the truth has triumphed, and the Supreme Court has played a major role in protecting democracy. She further elaborated, “It is not just Arvind Kejriwal who has got interim bail but by Supreme Court’s this decision truth has triumphed, this is a win of the Democracy & Constitution. The SC has played a major role in protecting Democracy.”

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