Reacting to CBI raids on his deputy Manish Sisodia over Delhi’s now-withdrawn policy on liquor sale, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the action is “welcome” and they “will cooperate fully”, but expressed confidence that “nothing will come out”. The raids at 21 locations in seven states, including Mr Sisodia’s official residence in the national capital, are to probe alleged corruption in the New Excise Policy of the Delhi government.
Mr Kejriwal, in his tweet, sought to underline Mr Sisodia’s work to improve schools by mentioning that the raids come on “a day when the Delhi education model was praised and Manish Sisodia’s picture printed on the front page of America’s largest newspaper NYT (New York Times)”.
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
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
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 19, 2022
“There have been many raids in the past as well. Nothing came out. Again, nothing will come out,” he wrote, in Hindi, sharing a tweet by Manish Sisodia in which he said AAP leaders are “kattar imaandar” (staunchly honest).
The liquor policy at the nub of the case had brought in private players — it came into effect in May — but was withdrawn at the end of July after Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena found “procedural irregularities”, official-speak for “corruption”. He recommended the probe by the central agency.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been alleging that the BJP at the Centre is targeting its leaders — another minister, Satyender Jain, is already in jail in a different case — because it is perturbed by the “Delhi model of development”. It has been at odds with successive Lt Governors, appointed by the Centre.
Mr Sisodia — who holds the Revenue and Education portfolios, among several others — made a veiled reference to the Narendra Modi government in a tweet in which he said “CBI has come… it is welcome”.
“It is very unfortunate that those who do good work in our country are harassed like this. That is why our country has not yet become Number 1,” he tweeted.
“Making India Number 1” is AAP’s latest pitch for a national profile, launched by Mr Kejriwal earlier this week.
Earlier this morning, Mr Sisodia shared the NYT front page that the chief minister was referring to.
CM @ArvindKejriwal‘s Education Revolution glittering on the front page of the renowned New York Times..
The world watches, as Delhi shows the way forward. pic.twitter.com/9uBQ73sEWb
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) August 18, 2022
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who leads the party’s other state government, also made the point about the NYT article in a tweet. “Manish Sisodia is the best Education Minister in India since Independence,” he wrote, and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “has sent the CBI”.
Before the CBI probe, the Delhi Police, which too reports to the central government, was already investigating the policy.
Action against Mr Sisodia comes just over two months after another minister, Satyender Jain, was arrested by another central probe agency, the Enforcement Directorate, in a case of alleged money laundering case. He remains in jail.
Mr Jain also held key portfolios, such as Health, Home, Power, Water and Industries, which were given to Mr Sisodia after his arrest in June.