Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will appear for questioning before the Central Bureau of Investigation on Sunday, in the Delhi liquor policy case. The AAP national convener had a packed schedule on Saturday as he put the final touches to his political strategy as he will be deposing as a witness.
The central agency issued a notice under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which requires Kejriwal to appear as a witness and not as an accused in the case. After his deputy Manish Sisodia was recently jailed and former home minister Satyendar Jain already behind bars, the AAP is concerned that this questioning could be a prelude to the chief minister’s potential arrest in the near future.
Asked about the likelihood of his arrest, Kejriwal said, “BJP leaders have been giving statements that Kejriwal will be arrested; if the BJP orders the CBI to arrest, how can the CBI not obey?”
With the chief minister’s most trusted aides behind bars, the current situation may be the most significant existential threat that the party has faced since its inception, despite having weathered many a challenge before. The AAP supremo had a crucial meeting with Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and MP Raghav Chadha late on Friday. A day later, he met with MP Sanjay Singh to further discuss the matter, while AAP’s Delhi in-charge Gopal Rai conducted one-on-one meetings with the party MLAs to ensure that the flock remain united and supportive during the challenging time.
Massive show of strength, protests planned
Amid a show of strength and solidarity, Kejriwal will reach the CBI headquarters accompanied by Mann, all of his cabinet ministers, and 10 AAP MPs, including Chadha and Sanjay Singh.
The CM is also scheduled to address AAP supporters before departing for the CBI headquarters. His supporters are expected to protest out on the streets. The government has announced a special session of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, during which it is expected to launch an all-out attack against the BJP and condemn what they see as “vendetta politics” and a “witch hunt” against the AAP — the party which they say has been providing “hope” to the country.
Kejriwal has also expressed his support for Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin and said he had plans to bring a resolution on this matter in the upcoming one-day special session of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. He tweeted: “We condemn the actions of Centre & its representatives to usurp & constrain powers of non-BJP State Govts. I support Shri @mkstalin’s efforts. We will also table a resolution in Delhi Vidhan Sabha urging the Centre to fix time limits for Governors/LG to carry out their functions.”
We condemn the actions of Centre & its representatives to usurp & constrain powers of non-BJP State Govts. I support Shri @mkstalin‘s efforts. We will also table a resolution in Delhi Vidhan Sabha urging the Centre to fix time limits for Governors/LG to carry out their functions. pic.twitter.com/jHizPTmL0U— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 15, 2023
The BJP, meanwhile, hit back as spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia alleged that it was Kejriwal who chaired the meeting that cleared the controversial excise policy.
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