Kejriwal: Kejriwal at CBI headquarter today: Opposition leaders reach out; Mann, ministers & MPs to escort | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s questioning by the CBI in the excise policy case on Sunday has become an occasion for AAP members to close ranks even as opposition leaders have expressed solidarity with him, underlining the tentative moves for an alliance against BJP.
Kejriwal will be reaching the CBI headquarters at 11am on Sunday, shortly after a visit to Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi. He will be accompanied by Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, cabinet colleagues and party MPs.
Elsewhere around the city, party MLAs, municipal councillors and members of various frontal organisations of the party will be out on the streets, according to a senior AAP functionary, amidst heavy police bandobast, both at the CBI office and at other places.
In a build-up to his face-to-face session with CBI officials, Kejriwal on Saturday accused the Centre’s probe agencies of lying in court, alleging that witnesses were being tortured to give statements against his party functionaries. He alleged that AAP was being targeted only because it had given new hope to the country.
“AAP has given hope to the people that it can eliminate poverty, make them educated and provide employment to their children. Pradhan mantriji is ummeed ko kuchalna chahte hain (The Prime Minister wants to crush that hope),” Kejriwal alleged.
“Corruption is not the issue. People close to the PM say that corruption has never been an issue with him. Modiji, if you think Kejriwal is corrupt, then perhaps there isn’t a single honest man in this world,” said the chief minister, addressing a press conference.
He found support from Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who described Kejriwal as a “well-regarded person” who had done a lot of developmental work in Delhi. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said Kejriwal would respond to all the actions initiated against him by the CBI at an appropriate time. He attributed the actions being taken against opposition leaders by the central agencies to the move to unite against BJP.
Significantly,Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge called up Kejriwal on Saturday and stressed the need for opposition parties to unite against BJP ahead of the 2024 general elections, sources said. Congress had been at loggerheads over several issues with AAP, whom it considers to be its primary rival in Delhi.
On his part, Kejriwal — replying to a letter written to him by Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin — said thatgovernors and lieutenant governors of non-BJP-governed states were “flouting the federal structure and the Constitution by deliberately keeping bills pending”. He added that the time had come to “safeguard the constitutional rights of state governments and ensure smooth functioning of democracy”.
In a show of solidarity with Stalin, the Delhi government has called a special assembly session on Monday to pass a resolution for a fixed time limit for governors and lieutenant governors to approve bills passed by state legislatures.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal told reporters that the agencies have been claiming a corruption of Rs 100 crore in the alleged excise policy scam. “But where is the money? They searched the house and locker of Manish Sisodia but found nothing. Their teams even went to his village. They claimed that the money was spent in the Goa elections and questioned each of our vendors but still found nothing because we had made all payments through cheques,” he said, asserting that there had been no corruption in the implementation of the policy.
The chief minister alleged that the investigating agencies have been pressuring the witnesses to give statements against AAP functionaries. He alleged that some witnesses had been badly beaten up and others threatened.
“The agencies also claimed that Sisodia destroyed 14 phones which were evidence. As per the IMEI numbers mentioned by the agencies in the chargesheet, five of these phones are in their own possession while the remaining are being used by party workers. These phones never belonged to Sisodia. Both the ED and the CBI know. The ED lied on oath, and in affidavit. It lied to the court,” he said, adding that his party will file appropriate cases against CBI and ED officials for perjury and producing false evidence in courts.
The AAP chief alleged that his party was facing the worst-ever persecution in 75 years of independent India and after Sisodia and Jain, he was the next target.
“The other parties had been plundering the country till now. If they are forced to build schools and hospitals, they will not have the money to embezzle,” Kejriwal said.


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