Kejriwal Has Mandate To Run Govt, Even If From Jail

NEW DELHI : Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced Monday that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would continue to run the capital’s government even if it was from jail.
Arvind Kejriwal on Monday held a meeting with all the AAP MLAs amid a furore over recent actions by central probe agencies against ministers and leaders of the party.
The APP has said it will seek the court’s permission to have Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal working from jail in case he is arrested by the Enforcement Directorate. At a meeting today, the party MLAs have told Mr Kejriwal that even if the Central agency arrests him, he should run the government from jail.
Minister Atishi said that if Kejriwal is arrested, they will approach court to seek permission for him to carry out official work from jail. After the meeting, Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that all the party MLAs in the meeting have urged Kejriwal to continue as the chief minister of Delhi even if he is arrest.
“Each and every MLA has requested Arvind Kejriwal that the BJP wants you (referring to Delhi CM) to resign, but only Arvind Kejriwal will run the Delhi government, whether from jail, or police custody, or judicial custody,” he told the reporters.
Last week, Mr Kejriwal was summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the alleged money laundering angle in the liquor scam, on November 2. skipped the summons saying it was “politically motivated”. He predicted that he would be arrested soon. He has earlier been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI.
The way the atmosphere is, very soon we all will be going to jail, the kind of preparations PM Modi is doing, rest of the cabinet colleagues along with CM will be going to jail. Maybe Atishi will be in jail number 1, I will be in jail 2 and someone else will be in jail 3 so we will get together for cabinet meetings. We will hold meetings and decisions will be taken and those MLAs who will be outside jail, they will implement them,” Bharadwaj added.
“We are going among the people. The people are saying that atrocities are being committed against the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal. That is why, all the MLAs requested the Chief Minister today that even if he goes to jail, he should remain the CM. The people of Delhi have elected him as CM and he should remain the CM,” said Delhi minister Aatishi. “We will go to court and seek permission to hold the cabinet meeting in the jail itself,” she added.
Mr Kejriwal’s former Deputy, Manish Sisodia, had stepped down from the cabinet post after his arrest in February. He is still in jail. Last week, the Supreme Court turned down his bail petition, saying tentative evidence has been established by the investigating agencies.
In a 41-page order, the court accepted the argument of the CBI that there is a “carefully hatched conspiracy” to ensure that a select few make windfall gains. The policy “facilitated getting bribes” from wholesale distributors who are “assured of exorbitant profits”.

The agency contends that liquor companies were involved in framing the scrapped 2021 excise policy, which would have brought them a 12 per cent profit. A liquor lobby it dubbed the “South Group” had paid kickbacks, part of which was routed to public servants, it said. The Enforcement Directorate alleged laundering of the kickbacks.
“The Central government has only one objective — to destroy the Aam Aadmi Party at any cost… For this, they are leaving no stone unturned, including creating a fake case. The idea is to send Arvind Kejriwal to jail and destroy the Aam Aadmi Party,” senior AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj has said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED have alleged that the Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy granted licences to liquor traders to facilitate cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes, a charge the AAP has repeatedly denied. The policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the PMLA. The BJP claimed the money was used to fund AAP’s campaign in Gujarat, in which it got 12.91 per cent votes and established itself as a national party.
(Bureau Report)


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