The arrest of Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over his alleged involvement in the Delhi excise policy case came as a shock to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Sisodia was interrogated for more than eight hours prior to his arrest. The entire CBI interrogation of Sisodia was videotaped. Following the arrest, the AAP accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of conducting a witch hunt against its leaders. According to the party, Sisodia was arrested in a bogus case.
According to sources, Manish Sisodia was summoned for questioning three months after a statement recorded by a senior excise department official, who stated that Sisodia tailored Delhi’s liquor policy. The CBI first questioned Sisodia in October of last year.
The investigation agency had previously summoned Sisodia for questioning on February 19. The AAP leader, who is also the Finance Minister of Delhi, has asked for a week to prepare the Delhi Budget. The CBI had granted his request.
On August 17, last year, the CBI charged Manish Sisodia, then-excise department officials, and businessmen with cheating and bribery in the new excise policy (2021-22), which was later shelved. On August 19, the CBI raided the home of Manish Sisodia and three other AAP members.
मनीष बेक़सूर हैं। उनकी गिरफ़्तारी गंदी राजनीति है। मनीष की गिरफ़्तारी से लोगों में बहुत रोष है। लोग सब देख रहे हैं। लोगों को सब समझ आ रहा है। लोग इसका जवाब देंगे।
इस से हमारे हौसले और बढ़ेंगे। हमारा संघर्ष और मज़बूत होगा।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2023
Sisodia had asked AAP to look after his family before his arrest
Earlier, ahead of his questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an alleged liquor scam, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia became emotional, asking his party workers to look after his wife and son.
Sisodia told party workers outside the CBI headquarters that his wife had always supported him through the ups and downs of his life.
“There were many ups and downs in my life. In all these ups and downs, my wife always stood by me. Today, if they send me to jail, my wife will be left alone at home. I am saying this because my son is studying at University. She (my wife) is not well,” said Sisodia who requested party workers to take care of his family.
In his message to the Delhi school students, the AAP leader who is also the Education Minister, said, “I want to say this to the children that if your Education Minister, your ‘Manish Chacha’ goes to jail, don’t think there will be holidays in schools. There won’t be holidays. I want you (Children) to work hard, study hard and don’t trouble your parents.”
He added, “Even if I go to jail, I will get all information on whether children are studying or not. So, if I get to know that children are becoming irresponsible over studies, I will give up on eating food inside the jail. I know that you (children) don’t want to upset me.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, responding to the emotional speech by Sisodia, tweeted,” We will take care of your family Manish. Don’t worry.”
AAP workers detained
As many as 50 AAP workers and prominent leaders – including MP Sanjay Singh and Delhi minister Gopal Rai – were detained by the Delhi Police for allegedly violating section 144 of the CrPC. The AAP workers were holding a protest outside the CBI headquarters while Sisodia was questioned by the CBI.
Attempt to finish Kejriwal: Raghav Chadha
AAP Senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha said the entire country was aware that only Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal could defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the electoral battle, therefore, BJP was making all possible attempts to use the CBI and ED to attack AAP leaders including Manish Sisodia to finish Kejriwal.
“The ED and CBI conducted raids at Manish Sisodia’s house in Delhi, ancestral village, bank lockers, and all the addresses of his friends and relatives. But BJP’s investigating agencies did not find any money. This is because all these allegations are completely false and fabricated,” said Punjab MP during a press conference.