Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the BJP is resorting to desperate measures as it stares at a defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, which is why many such raids will take place as the polls come closer. He was reacting to the ED raids at AAP MP Sanjay Singh’s residence in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.
“They have been probing the alleged liquor scam for the last year but nothing has been found yet. Nothing will be found at Sanjay Singh’s residence. When someone is staring at defeat, they resort to desperate measures. That is what is happening right now,” Kejriwal said.
Earlier in the morning, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided Singh’s home alongside raids at at the premises of some others connected to the case. The bail plea of Kejriwal’s former deputy Manish Sisodia, who was sent to jail in the money laundering case in February, is also up for hearing in the Supreme Court.
The AAP convener, however, said there is no need to be afraid of such raids as they will only increase as the elections near. “ED, CBI, I-T and police – all the agencies will become active as the elections come closer. Yesterday, it was journalists and, today, it is Sanjay Singh. Many such raids will happen. But there is no need to be scared,” he added.
On Sisodia’s bail plea, he said the “blessings of children are with him”. “…we hope we will get justice from the Supreme Court today,” he added.
Last week, too, after CBI action in the alleged irregularities in the construction and renovation of the chief minister’s official residence, Kejriwal had said “pradhan mantri ji is scared” (the Prime Minister is scared)” and had asked if the PM will resign if nothing is found during the probe.
He had also said 50 inquiries have been conducted against him but nothing has been found so far and, this time too, it will be the same. “They have filed more than 33 cases against me and have conducted investigations into each. For eight years, ever since I became the chief minister, investigations have been on and nothing has been found. Now, a new inquiry has been started and I welcome it. Nothing will be found in this as before.”
Sanjay Singh’s name in ED chargesheet
The ED had earlier questioned members of Singh’s staff and those linked to him. It had mentioned the 51-year-old Rajya Sabha MP’s name in its chargesheet, stating that Dinesh Arora, a middleman, had said he had met Singh during a party in his restaurant Unplugged Courtyard.
In 2020, the chargesheet stated, Singh requested him to ask restaurant owners to generate funds for the AAP for the Delhi assembly elections. He said he gave a cheque of Rs 82 lakh for the funds.
According to the chargesheet, Dinesh Arora said in his statement that another accused Amit Arora wanted help in moving his liquor shop from Okhla to Pitampura. He managed this through Singh who told deputy CM Manish Sisodia and the matter was resolved by the excise department. Dinesh also said he met Kejriwal once at his residence with Singh while he had spoken to Sisodia five to six times, the chargesheet stated.
Overall, the charge against the AAP-led government is that its excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who paid bribes for it. The policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2022.
Sanjay Singh targeted due to Adani-related questions in Parliament: AAP
Responding to the ED raids, the AAP alleged that Singh was “targeted” as he raised issues related to the Adani group in Parliament. “Sanjay Singh kept on raising questions on the issue of Adani and this is why the raids are being conducted at his residence. The central agencies found nothing earlier and won’t find anything today either. First, they conducted raids at the residence of some journalists yesterday and, today, raids conducted at Sanjay Singh’s residence,” AAP spokesperson Reena Gupta said.
(With PTI inputs)