Political Affairs
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Pre-Election Fight Heats Up in India After Delhi Chief Minister for Corruption

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a protest against the alleged attacks on federalism by the federal government, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a protest against the alleged attacks on federalism by the federal government, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.03.2024
On Thursday evening, AAP national convenor and Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal was apprehended by Enforcement Directorate (ED), a body of the Finance Ministry mandated with the investigation of offenses of money laundering.
Security arrangements in India's capital city have been boosted on Friday morning after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called for a massive protest against the arrest of its national convenor and Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal in a liquor policy and money laundering case.
Heavy police forces were deployed and barricades have been placed around AAP’s office at Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Marg in the capital city, as AAP workers had gathered near ITO with placards written “Main Bhi Kejriwal, Mujhe Bhi Giraftar Karo” (I am also Kejriwal, arrest me too).
AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai had called for a nationwide protest against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and asked the workers to reach party office in large numbers. The Delhi-ruling party had plans to march to the headquarters of the federally-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), located just a few meters away from its office.
As a result, Section 144 (ban on gathering of four or more people) was imposed at ITO and AAP party office.
The police also blocked several roads leading to the BJP headquarters and ED office amid protest call by AAP which led to massive traffic jam near ITO Chowk, Raj Ghat and Vikas Marg.
The traffic to the roads leading to ED office were also shut, the traffic police advised commuters to avoid Krishna Menon Marg, Motilal Nehru Marg, Janpath, and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road.
Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on late Thursday evening in money laundering case related to now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The development came after he was issued at least 9 summons by the agency, but skipped them all.

The detention comes less than a month before the kick-off of parliamentary elections in India, in which Kejriwal's party is considered one of the main opposition forces.

Opposition Turning on Hate on BJP After Kerjiwal's Arrest

The AAP is part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance I.N.D.I.A., an opposition alliance of 40 political parties, which was established to rival in elections against the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP.
As the pre-election buzz is heating up in India, several opposition politicians have turned to social media to express solidarity with Kejriwal, using a "dictatorship" card against the ruling party.
As such, Rahul Gandhi, the informal leader of the Indian opposition well-known to the Western public, has accused Narendra Modi's BJP of trying to "create a dead democracy" and promised that the opposition would give a "befitting reply to this."
Tamil Nadu State Chief MK Stalin also expressed his discontent.
And Delhi environment minister and party’s Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai termed his party chief’s arrest as “murder of democracy” and an “announcement of dictatorship”.

Meanwhile, his party has said that Kejriwal would not resign as State Chief despite getting arrest and will run the Delhi government from jail.

What Does BJP Say on Kejriwal’s Arrest?

India's ruling party has slammed the opposition AAP for staging a protest against Kejriwal’s arrest, with the Party’s Delhi unit secretary Harish Khuranna saying that law was taking its own course, and Kerjiwal would be produced before the court and may be taken on remand.
“This is the same Kejriwal who used to say that if there is an allegation against anyone then he or she should resignation first and then investigation should be done. Today his party workers are saying that we will run the government in jail,” he said.
Reacting to some tweets expressing concerns about Kejriwal’s safety while in custody, the Delhi BJP secretary said she "could worry about his safety in Tihar jail" because it came under Delhi government's authority, but he would be completely safe till he was in ED’s custody.

BJP Calls Out Congress for Hypocrisy in Kejriwal's Case

Sharing an old letter of Congress where the party has complained about the irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy, Khuranna said in a tweet: “Dual face of Indian National Congress. First they file a complaint and now they are staging protest in his support. This is called marriage of convenience.”
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said: “AAP leaders are saying that Arvind Kejriwal is not a human, but an ideology... The ideology is that he will be corrupt and when the court takes action, he will call it an atrocity... And play the victim card.”
“I want to ask them, is the court finishing the democracy?... The Supreme Court rejected Manish Sisodia's bail. The Supreme Court said that there is a money trail of INR 3380 million ($40,562,805). Sanjay Singh's bail was rejected by the High Court. If your teammates have been in jail for more than a year now, has the BJP done it or the Courts have done it?.. Your BFF Congress found you drowned in the Liquor scam,” he stated.
The BJP members have also shared the videos of Congress politicians alleging of irregularities in the liquor policy.

AAP Moves Supreme Court, Later Kejriwal Withdraws Plea

The AAP had moved Supreme Court on Thursday night itself challenging the arrest of Kejriwal. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Kejriwal, had sought an urgent hearing at night itself but the top court scheduled the matter for Friday morning.
Singhvi mentioned the case before the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud who assigned the plea to Justice Sanjiv Khanna's bench.
Later, Kejriwal withdrew his petition from the apex court and his counsel informed the bench that he would argue his case before the court that will decide on whether to remand him in custody.
The court allowed Singhvi to withdraw the plea.
Supporters gather next to a photograph of Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, during a road show as they celebrate party's victory in the state Assembly elections, in Amritsar, India - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.11.2023
Political Affairs
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