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Arvind Kejriwal Will Run Delhi Govt From Jail: AAP

| Updated: March 22, 2024 11:59

SC to hear Kejriwal arrest matter urgently, ED seeks 10-day custody

Arvind Kejriwal will continue as the Delhi chief minister, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sources have said. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) late on Thursday on charges of corruption in relation to the now-scrapped excise policy. 

AAP minister Atishi, while hitting out at the BJP-led Central government, said that Kejriwal would continue functioning as the CM from jail. “There is no rule that stops him from running the government from jail since he has not been convicted,” she said. 

This is the first time in independent India that a serving chief minister has been arrested. The move came after Kejriwal skipped nine ED summons calling them “illegal”. Kejriwal’s arrest came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection to him   from any coercive action by ED. 

The AAP alleged a “huge conspiracy” behind Kejriwal’s arrest ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The party has alleged that the ED has become a “political tool” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre. 

As ED officials reached Kejriwal’s residence on Thursday evening, party leaders and workers gathered there in large numbers. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, Delhi ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi and other AAP leaders and workers gathered outside the chief minister’s residence.

SC to hear matter 

The Supreme Court, which was approached by AAP leaders late on Thursday, is   going to take up the case pertaining to the Delhi chief minister’s arrest on Friday morning. AAP leaders were hoping for a late-night hearing but the apex court said it would take up the matter in the morning. 

The ED is reportedly seeking ten-day custody of Kejriwal. 

AAP has called for countrywide protests with top leaders of the party, including Bhagwant Mann, arriving in the national capital. Security has been stepped up around the city.

Opposition parties have criticised the arrest, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a veiled reference to PM Modi, saying that “a scared dictator wants to create a dead democracy”. 

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said targeting the AAP leader during elections is wrong and unconstitutional, and lowering the level of politics in such a manner neither suits the Prime Minister nor the BJP-led Centre.

The AAP and the Congress have formed an alliance in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana and Goa for the Lok Sabha elections.

Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi said “it is a political conspiracy and the residents of the city love him (Kejriwal)”.

BJP demands resignation

Meanwhile, the BJP demanded Kejriwal’s resignation on moral grounds, saying the high court has refused to protect him from arrest by the ED.

“They (AAP leaders) are saying a Kejriwal will emerge from every household. What kind of language is this? Will you speak the language of hooligans and create a ruckus? Everyone has to follow the rule of law,” Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said.

He sought to know what kind of ideology the AAP leaders are talking about. “Is doing corruption an ideology? Giving sub-standard medicines, the liquor scam, corruption in the Delhi Jal Board – are these your ideology?” the BJP leader asked.

Also Read: Senior Congress Leader Anand Sharma Opposes Rahul Gandhi’s Call For Caste-Based Census

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