Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday called the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids at over 20 locations in the national capital, including the residence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia a reward for AAP government’s good performance which is being “appreciated globally”.
The CBI raids were a part of the agency’s investigation into the alleged irregularities in formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy brought in November 2021.
A CBI official today ANI that searches were conducted at seven states, including Delhi, and the FIR in the case named four public servants including Manish Sisodia.
Among the premises raided include those of the former Excise Commissioner of Delhi Arava Gopi Krishna during whose tenure the revamped Excise policy was approved.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal lambasted the central government and said that the day the work of AAP is praised, is also the same day that “Centre sends CBI for raid”.
“I welcome CBI. We will cooperate fully. There have been many such probes, raids in past. Nothing came out. Nothing will come out this time too,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
He also alleged that the Centre wants to “stop the good work in Delhi” and hence the raids and arrests.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj also extended support to Sisodia.जिस दिन अमेरिका के सबसे बड़े अख़बार NYT के फ़्रंट पेज पर दिल्ली शिक्षा मॉडल की तारीफ़ और मनीष सिसोदिया की तस्वीर छपी, उसी दिन मनीष के घर केंद्र ने CBI भेजी— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 19, 2022
CBI का स्वागत है। पूरा cooperate करेंगे। पहले भी कई जाँच/रेड हुईं। कुछ नहीं निकला। अब भी कुछ नहीं निकलेगा https://t.co/oQXitimbYZ
“We welcome CBI and other agencies that PM Modi has including ED, Income tax. This is not the first case of the raid on AAP leaders, but the question is what do these agencies recover? They should tell people if anything was ever recovered anywhere,” he told ANI.
Senior political leader Kapil Sibal slammed the Centre for the raid and alleged that the BJP wants to destabilise the AAP government.
“Sisodia raided by CBI. CBI, ED - the long arms of Government. Now that Kejriwal is on the rise. Time for BJP to destabilise. So target Satyendra Jain. Now Sidodia,” he tweeted in support of the AAP Minister.
The BJP, on the other hand, criticized the Delhi CM for his claims and said that he should stop treating people like fools.
Talking to ANI, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said, “Arvind Kejriwal should stop treating people as fools, and should stop addressing the people of the country. Delhi CM did not even suspend Satyendar Jain when he went to jail. AAP, Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia's real face has come in front of the public today.”
Thakur went on to say that irrespective of how hard a corrupt person tries to prove himself innocent, he will still remain corrupt.
“This is not the first case of corruption by AAP. There has been huge corruption in the liquor stores in Delhi,” Thakur added.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Parvesh Verma has alleged that the excise policy case has links with Telangana.
“Hotel they booked, restaurants Manish Sisodia visited to crack deals...I think there are 10-15 private players, government people and Manish Sisodia," he told ANI.
Earlier in July, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena had recommended a CBI probe into Delhi's revamped excise policy. He approved the suspension of 11 officials over "lapses" in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.
The suspended officials included Gopikrishna and deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari.