New Delhi: Manish Sisodia is a “hardcore honest” man, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday, fearing that his deputy will be framed in a “completely fake case” by the CBI and arrested in a few days.
His remarks came after Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) V K Saxena recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Delhi Excise Policy, 2021-22 over alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses.
Sisodia heads the excise department of the Delhi government.
At an online press briefing, Kejriwal said he has known Sisodia for 22 years.
“I came to know that a case has been sent to the CBI against Manish Sisodia and the agency is going to arrest him in a few days. It is a completely fake case. There is not even an iota of truth in this case,” the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said.
“This case will not hold in a court. Manish is a hardcore honest man and he will walk free,” he said.
Kejriwal also said AAP leaders are not afraid of going to jail as they have done no wrong.
At a press briefing, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that the CBI probe was recommended by the LG at the behest of the BJP-led Centre to implicate Sisodia in a fake case and keep the Kejriwal-led party at bay in the upcoming Assembly polls.
He also alleged that the Centre has been making efforts to “somehow” implicate all the ministers in the Delhi government in fake cases as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared of the growing popularity of the AAP and Kejriwal.
“The Centre will try to implicate more of our ministers. It has asked officials to find out anything, true or false, and launch a probe so that the AAP can be kept confined to Delhi and Punjab,” Bhardwaj said replying to a question.
He, however, asserted that nothing will come of it and people will eventually understand everything and wonder why Modi is after AAP leaders.
Referring to the arrest of Sateyndar Jain by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case, Bhardwaj alleged that the Centre has been making efforts to “somehow” implicate the ministers in the Delhi government in fake cases since the AAP’s stupendous victory in the Punjab Assembly polls earlier this year.
“We have been anticipating that after Jain, the Centre will try to implicate Sisodia also,” he said.
“This is happening because the growing popularity of Arvind Kejriwal across the country has scared the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Bhardwaj said.
He added that the Centre is “jealous” of Kejriwal’s popularity.
“It is very sad for this country that the LG has recommended a CBI inquiry to implicate Manish Sisodia, the most popular education minister in the country, in a fake case,” the AAP leader said.
The CBI inquiry was recommended on the basis of a report filed by the Delhi chief secretary earlier this month, showing prima facie violations of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, the Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR), 1993, the Delhi Excise Act, 2009 and the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, officials said.
According to sources, the LG has found “substantive indications” of “financial quid pro quo” at the “top political level”, wherein the excise minister “took and got executed major decisions in violation of statutory provisions” and notified the excise policy that had “huge financial implications”.