DELHI CHIEF Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday that the case against his deputy, Manish Sisodia, was part of a “pattern” by the BJP to topple elected governments.
Speaking at a one-day special session of the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal reiterated what he had tweeted a day earlier — that there is a new “serial killer” on the loose, a potshot at the BJP trying to bring down elected state governments. “Others form governments, they bring them down. They have trampled on citizens. People selected a government in states like 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 (Health Minister Satyendar) Jain, now they are targeting Sisodia,” he said.
Kejriwal also said the case against Sisodia was not meant to fight corruption but rather to satisfy one person’s “lust for power”. “The case filed against Manish Sisodia is completely fake… They (BJP) are saying it’s a fight against corruption, but it is not… yeh kisi ek insaan ki satta ki hawas ki ladai hai (This is a fight for one man’s lust for power),” he said.
He added: “Yeh ladai ek aadmi ke swaarth ki ladai hai (This is one man’s fight for selfishness)… On August 15, standing at Red Fort, he said, ‘I am fighting against corruption, I need your support, my countrymen’… Sahab, if you were fighting against corruption, you would not have had to ask the countrymen for support… This shows the countrymen are not with you… you are doing drama (nautanki)… I fought against corruption in Delhi, I never said ‘Delhiites, I need your support’… People can see that you are not fighting against corruption, you are fighting for your selfishness and lust for power.”
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 child being asked who is the central education minister. He said ‘Manish Sisodia’. He was then asked who is the education minister of Rajasthan and UP, he said ‘Manish Sisodia’. There is only one education minister in this country and that is Manish Sisodia.”
Kejriwal said that exactly a week after this report, NYT carried another one titled ‘Modi’s India is where global democracy dies’. “It hurts when anything against India gets published in an international newspaper,” he said.
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.”
“The 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.
Kejriwal also reiterated allegations that BJP leaders tried to get Sisodia and other MLAs to leave 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.”
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He further alleged: “In Maharashtra, they offered Rs 50 crore and here the offer is Rs 20 crore. I don’t know why they have offered less in Delhi. They spent Rs 6,300 crore to buy 277 MLAs and have reserved Rs 800 crore to buy our MLAs.”
He also proposed a “confidence motion” to show Delhiites that AAP leaders will die but not break. “We want to prove to people that ‘Operation Lotus’ has now become ‘Operation Keechad’ in Delhi,” he said. To pass this motion, the Assembly will convene on Monday.