Home WORLD NEWS It will be AAP vs BJP in 2024; CBI raids a ploy to stop Arvind Kejriwal: Manish Sisodia

It will be AAP vs BJP in 2024; CBI raids a ploy to stop Arvind Kejriwal: Manish Sisodia

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NEW DELHI: A day after the CBI raided his residence in the national capital, Delhi deputy chief minister

Manish Sisodia

on Saturday said the searches have no connection to Delhi’s liquor policy and are part of a ploy by the Centre to “stop Arvind

Kejriwal

“.

Strongly denying any charges of corruption, Sisodia said there was no scam in the implementation of the excise policy and claimed that the Centre ordered CBI to act against him as he is a minister in the Kejriwal government in Delhi.

The vociferous response comes a day after CBI officials raided his residence and 30 other locations based on an FIR that accused public servants, including Sisodia, of taking decisions pertaining to the excise policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with “an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post tender”.

Speaking to reporters a day after the CBI action, Sisodia said the

Delhi excise

policy — which has been withdrawn — was implemented with complete transparency and is the country’s best policy.

“Had Delhi LG not changed his decision in a conspiracy to fail the policy, Delhi government would have been getting at least Rs 10,000 crore every year,” Sisodia claimed.

CBI officers came to my residence y’day. They also raided Education Ministry’s Dy CM office. All officers, in both… https://t.co/uwhCrbRava

— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) 1660978056000

Sisodia added that the issue is not about the liquor or excise scam but because the Centre is worried about Delhi chief minister Kejriwal’s rise.

“Their problem is Arvind Kejriwal. Whole proceedings against me, raids at my residence & office are to stop Arvind Kejriwal. I haven’t done any corruption. I’m just Arvind Kejriwal’s education minister,” Sisodia said.

The Delhi deputy chief minister claimed the Centre is worried about Kejriwal’s growing stature in Indian politics, especially after the AAP’s sweeping victory in the recent Punjab elections.

“It [raids] are a part of the script to halt Kejriwal, who is emerging as a national alternative,” Sisodia said.

The Delhi minister said that Kejriwal’s work in the health and education sectors has been lauded across the world and the central government is targeting his ministers to dilute the chief minister’s credibility.

America’s biggest newspaper New York Times covered Delhi’s education model on its front page y’day. It’s a pride fo… https://t.co/kc9P1Zi4UK

— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) 1660978054000

“Satyendar Jain [Delhi health minsiter] already in jail, I will also be arrested in 2-3 days … it’s a conspiracy to stop work in education and health sector,” Sisodia said.

Sisodia also launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the CBI raids, saying that they come just two days after Kejriwal announced the “Make India No.1 campaign”.

“The difference between Kejriwal and Modi is that Kejriwal learns from people who are doing good work; Modi Ji tries to stop anyone trying to do better work than him,” Sisodia alleged.

He repeated the opposition charge that the government is using central agencies like ED and CBI to target its political opponents.

The Delhi deputy CM said that in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it will be a direct contest between BJP and AAP. “Till now, people asked Modi vs who … now people are determined to give Kejriwal an opportunity,” the senior AAP leader said.

On Friday, the AAP had strongly condemned the raids against Sisodia, with Kejriwal claiming the agency has been “asked from above” to harass its leaders.

The BJP asked the Delhi government to come out clean on its excise policy.

The 15-hour-long searches at the AAP leader’s home, the residence of IAS officer and former excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and 29 other places took place after the CBI registered an FIR for alleged corruption and bribery formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy brought out last November, officials said.

The Excise Policy 2021-22, formulated on the basis of an expert committee report, was implemented on November 17 last year and retail licences were issued under it to private bidders for 849 vends across the city, divided into 32 zones.

However, under the policy, many liquor stores failed to open for being located in non-conforming areas of the city. Several such vends were sealed by municipal corporations for violations of the Master Plan.

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena last month recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

He had also suspended 11 excise officials in the matter. Sisodia had also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy.

(With inputs from agencies)

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