Delhi Excise Policy Case: CBI summons Arvind Kejriwal

AAP says it knew this would happen; Says Delhi CM is targeted for exposing nexus between central government and industrialist Gautam Adani

NEW DELHI | Updated: 14 April, 2023 6:04 pm IST
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The turf battle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to blow into a full-blown war after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoned Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Kejriwal, who is also the face of the party, was summoned for questioning on April 16 in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case.

Incidentally, Kejriwal has also received a summons from the Goa Police concerning an alleged case of defacing public property, for which he has been asked to appear for questioning on April 27.

While former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is currently in jail in relation to the case, the CBI’s move came on a day when AAP showed proof that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) guise of holding the former Delhi education minister does not hold ground.

AAP showed documents that showed that the 14 phones that ED had claimed were destroyed by Sisodia are available – five of them are in the custody of the agency and the rest are with Sisodia’s house staff.

Incidentally, two days ago, on April 12, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh showed documents and alleged that ED had threatened the accused and suspects into submission before making fake allegations against Sisodia in the case.

Singh also alleged that ED had threatened not only suspects and accused but their families too, including their wives and daughters.

The BJP has long accused Kejriwal of being the mastermind behind the alleged scam. This is the first time that the agency has summoned the chief minister in the matter.

Since Sisodia was sent to custody in February, Kejriwal has said that all AAP leaders must prepare to face imprisonment.

Many people have argued that targeting Kejriwal showed that the centre was wary of his and AAP’s rise. The AAP, which came into being in 2012, has recently been recognised as a national party.

Since coming to power in Delhi eight years ago, Kejriwal has refrained from taking on any portfolio while focusing on the growth of the party. However, the party was frequently in a tussle with the central government-appointed Lieutenant Governors of Delhi.

The timing of the summons also holds significance, as it came at a time when the party is projecting Kejriwal as the future Prime Minister.

Kejriwal is also at the forefront of uniting the Opposition to stop the BJP’s juggernaut in the 2024 general election. The Delhi CM has been holding regular meetings with Opposition leaders, like Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, TN CM MK Stalin and Telangana CM KCR, among others.

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