With the CBI searches escalating the war of words between the BJP at the Centre and the AAP in Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, whose home was searched Friday, said Saturday that he may be arrested “in the next two-four days”.
Mounting a direct attack on the Prime Minister for trying to “stop” the Kejriwal government’s “good work” especially in the field of education and health, Sisodia told a press conference that “we are not scared” and “the next election (for Lok Sabha in 2024) will be Modi versus Arvind Kejriwal”.
The BJP hit back, accusing Kejriwal of being the “kingpin in the liquor scam”. It said the AAP was trying to divert attention from the “scam” by linking the CBI action to politics since its “real face has been unmasked”.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur, who addressed a press conference along with Lok Sabha member Manoj Tiwari and Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, said: “Manish Sisodia might have now changed the spelling of his name too. Now it is Money Shh.”
He said the AAP had made tall claims before several elections but could not stand before the popularity of Prime Minister Modi. He said it could not open its account in the Assembly polls in UP and Uttarakhand.
“Some people are engaged in earning money from liquor mafia while we are distributing vaccines,” Thakur said, adding that “The No.1 accused of the liquor scam is Manish Sisodia but the kingpin is Arvind Kejriwal. Today’s press conference clearly showed how the colour of his face was gone… He could not even answer the questions.”
Sisodia, on the other hand, said the BJP cannot stop his party from “developing the nation”. He said the CBI searches were “not aimed at eliminating corruption” but were meant to be a “deterrent to the rise of Kejriwal”.
“I will tell you what a real scam is… A real scam is the cave-in of the Bundelkhand Expressway that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Within five days of the inauguration, the expressway caved in… This is a real scam… The CBI should have been sent to investigate this and the officers and people involved in the making of that expressway should be raided, an investigation should be going on in that case. But corruption is not their agenda… Their real problem and worry is Arvind Kejriwal and his model of governance, education and health,” he said.
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Waving copies of two reports published on the front page of The New York Times – one recently and another during the pandemic a year ago — Sisodia said, “They are worried because I am an education minister and a man of Arvind Kejriwal, and people across the country and abroad love him… this is what is troubling and worrying them.”
In a Twitter post, Chief Minister Kejriwal said that he, along with Sisodia, will visit Gujarat for two days and speak about education, the health model and interact with the youth.