Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Tomar resigned on Tuesday, hours after he was arrested on charges of fraud and cheating by the Delhi Police.
The arrest escalated tensions between the central and state governments, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accusing the Delhi Police of carrying out a “political vendetta”.
जितेंद्र तोमर ने इस्तीफा दिया।राजनीति करने नही राजनीति बदलने आये हैं क्या मोदी जी स्मृति ईरानी,रामशंकर कठेरिया,निहालचंद का भी इस्तीफा लेंगे?
— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) June 9, 2015
The face-off between the two governments intensified through the day, with another public showdown brewing over transfers involving the Anti-Corruption Branch and the Delhi Home Secretary.
While remanding Tomar to four days in police custody, a Delhi court said the police action “seemed like a farce exercise” after documents revealed that the arrest notice was issued after the minister was detained.
The police arrested Tomar, a first-time MLA from Trinagar, at 11 am following an investigation into a complaint by the Bar Council of Delhi that he had obtained a fake law degree from the Institute of Legal Studies College in Munger, Bihar.
The arrest comes at a time when Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Delhi government have locked horns over administrative control of the national capital.
Outside AIIMS on Tuesday evening, Tomar said, “I have been framed by the Centre and the BJP. We will win this court case and I will work for the party again.” Tomar sent his resignation to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through his lawyer.
The Delhi government was quick to condemn Tomar’s arrest. “In the last three months, the AAP government in Delhi has shaken the roots of corruption. Dictatorial ways are being used to create an emergency-like situation in Delhi,” Sisodia said.
According to Sisodia, this was an attempt to intimidate the government. “What is going on? Is Jitendra Tomar a mafia member? Was he running away? Has be caused a bomb blast in Delhi or elsewhere? He is facing an accusation. Various people are giving their versions over it. The case is before the High Court. What emergency required him to be arrested? Something is fishy,” Sisodia said.
Even as Tomar was produced in court, the Delhi government issued two orders asking Joint Commissioner of Police M K Meena, who Lt Governor Jung had appointed to head the ACB on Monday, to return to his parent cadre and not take charge of the bureau.
However, in a letter to the government, Meena underlined the powers of the Lt Governor. “I am again informing you that I am continuing as Head of Anti Corruption Branch and any such reference regarding charge is to be addressed to Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, Delhi…in future you may not interfere in the working of Anti Corruption Branch, otherwise I will be constrained to initiate legal action against you as per law,” his letter read.
To round up a day of heated exchanges, Lt Governor Jung stayed the transfer Home Secretary Dharm Pal, saying the government had not sought his approval for the move.