In an apparent attack on the Prime Minister, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said the case against Manish Sisodia is not meant to fight corruption but rather to satisfy one person’s “lust for power”.
Speaking at a one-day special session of the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal said: “The case filed against Manish Sisodia is completely fake… They (BJP) are saying it’s a fight against corruption, but it is not… ye kisi ek insan ki satta ki hawas ki ladayi hai (This is a fight for one man’s lust for power).”
Reiterating what he tweeted a day earlier, Kejriwal said there is a new serial killer on the loose – a potshot at the BJP taking down elected state governments. “Others form governments, they bring them down. They have trampled on citizens. People selected a government in Maharashtra and Goa, they toppled it… they are after the people… the pattern is the same everywhere… First they sent the CBI and ED after Jain, now they are targeting Sisodia,” he said.
Waving a copy of the New York Times, he said, “It was a proud moment for the entire country when the story (on Delhi government’s successes in the education sector) got published in the NYT. I feel that if you ask any person who is the union education minister, I don’t think anyone knows. Who is the education minister of Uttar Pradesh, I don’t think anyone knows… Recently, I saw a video on social media of a kid being asked who is the central education minister. He said ‘Manish Sisodia’. He was then asked who is education minister of Rajasthan and UP, he said ‘Manish Sisodia’. There is only one education minister in this country and that is Manish Sisodia. Even if you ask an American, he will take Sisodia’s name.”
He said that exactly a week after this report, NYT carried another one titled ‘Modi’s India is where democracy dies’. “Democracy is being killed in Modi’s India. It hurts when anything against India gets published in an international newspaper.”
Kejriwal also spoke about a “conspiracy” by “anti-national forces” to stop him from going to Singapore to speak about the ‘Delhi model’.
On the case against Sisodia, he said: “They filed a fake case against him saying he has committed a scam in the excise policy. When we asked them, what is this scam you are talking about, one of them said he had committed a Rs 1.5 lakh crore scam. Delhi’s budget is not this much, how can he commit such a big scam? Then a senior BJP spokesperson alleged Rs 8,000 crore.”
Referring to a press conference by BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari and Anurag Thakur, Kejriwal said, “Two BJP leaders held a press conference and alleged that Sisodia committed a Rs 1,100 crore scam, then LG sent a report alleging Rs 144 crore, and then CBI in its FIR says Rs 1 crore, and that too was transferred from one company’s account to the account of another company. How is Sisodia involved in this? If you make (BJP MLAs) sit in different rooms and ask them what this scam is, they won’t be able to tell.”
“Truth is, there is no scam, it was a transparent policy. They filed a fake case against him and searched his house for 14 hours, they raided every corner – from the kitchen to the bedroom to the toilet… They knocked on the walls, tore down the mattresses and pillows like it happens in movies, but they found nothing,” he said.
He also reiterated allegations that the BJP tried to get Sisodia and other MLAs to ditch the AAP and join their party. “This is happening because of the Gujarat assembly elections, because BJP’s fortress in the state is crumbling… If today the AAP announces it will not contest the elections there, all these enquiries, CBI and ED raids will stop.”