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OPINION | ARVIND KEJRIWAL IN JAIL: IS WIFE SUNITA IN COMMAND?

Aam Aadmi Party minister Atishi alleged that the Enforcement Directorate has planned to arrest four AAP leaders, including herself, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Durgesh Pathak and Raghav Chadha in the liquor excise case.

Rajat Sharma Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Updated on: April 02, 2024 17:11 IST
ARVIND KEJRIWAL IN JAIL: IS WIFE SUNITA IN COMMAND?
Image Source : INDIA TV Aaj Ki Baat with Rajat Sharma.

A day after Arvind Kejriwal was sent to Tihar jail till April 15, Delhi minister Atishi alleged on Tuesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had approached her through someone very close offering her to join the party and “save her political career”. Atishi also alleged that she was cautioned that if she declined the offer, she could be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate within one month. She alleged that ED has planned to arrest four AAP leaders, including herself, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Durgesh Pathak and Raghav Chadha in the liquor excise case. This allegation comes on the heels of a purported revelation made by Kejriwal to ED during interrogation that the liquor case accused Vijay Nair never reported to him and that he used to report to Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj.

Meanwhile, AAP MP Sanjay Singh, who has been in jail since October last year, was granted bail on Tuesday by the Supreme Court after ED did not oppose his bail petition. On Tuesday, nearly 55 AAP MLAs from Delhi met Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita and asserted that the Delhi chief minister should continue to run the government from jail and must not resign at any cost. The BJP has demanded that Kejriwal should resign because he should not run a government from jail. Sending Kejriwal to jail was a foregone conclusion and even the AAP supremo knew that. This was the reason why he continuously ignored nine summons sent by ED for questioning. Kejriwal had anticipated that his arrest could be postponed till the Lok Sabha elections were over, but his hopes were belied.

To me, the surprising part is why Kejriwal named his two close confidantes Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj in the liquor excise case? Kejriwal knew these two ministers could be sent summons for questioning if they were named. Then why did he put both these active party leaders in difficulty and that too, on the eve of elections? Some insiders say that Kejriwal wanted both these two leaders to be arrested too, so that his partymen could go and tell the people that the Modi government wants to keep his party away from elections. Both Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj were defending Kejriwal daily at press conferences and they were present in court on Monday. Both of them were leaders in AAP who could have become claimants for the CM’s chair, with Kejriwal in jail. 

Some people have started saying, if these two leaders were made accused in the liquor excise scam, there will be no strong contender left for the CM post except Sunita Kejriwal. They say, this was the reason why Kejriwal took the gambit in order to clear the path for his wife to become chief minister. Both Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj were shocked when ED told the court on Monday that Kejriwal had named both of them to whom accused Vijay Nair was reporting. People who know about the functioning of AAP from the inside, say that nobody should expect Atishi to say anything against Kejriwal. This is what she did on Tuesday. It is only Kejriwal who can reveal what is going on in the inner layers of his mind.

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