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  4. OPINION | CAN KEJRIWAL CONTINUE AS CM FROM JAIL?

OPINION | CAN KEJRIWAL CONTINUE AS CM FROM JAIL?

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for ED, described Kejriwal as the kingpin and mastermind the the Delhi liquor excise scam. He alleged that nearly Rs 600 crores were earned from privatizing Delhi liquor trade, out of which Rs 100 crore was given as kickback to Aam Aadmi Party.

Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Published on: March 23, 2024 16:07 IST
ED claimed that it had evidence of kickbacks being given
Image Source : INDIA TV ED claimed that it had evidence of kickbacks being given and quoted K. Kavitha's statement. K. Kavitha is the daughter of former Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, and she is presently in custody.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was sent on six days' ED remand by a special court in Delhi on Friday after marathon hearing on the remand application.Kejriwal will now remain in ED custody till March 28. His lawyers, led by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned his arrest and alleged that it was the result of election-related politics. Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for ED, described Kejriwal as the kingpin and mastermind the the Delhi liquor excise scam. He alleged that nearly Rs 600 crores were earned from privatizing Delhi liquor trade, out of which Rs 100 crore was given as kickback to Aam Aadmi Party.

Out of this, Rs 45  crore kickback was used by AAP in Goa assembly elections. ED claimed that it had evidence of kickbacks being given and quoted K. Kavitha's statement. K. Kavitha is the daughter of former Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, and she is presently in custody. The Delhi court was told by ED counsel that all cellphones used for passing on messages for transferring kickback money were destroyed when the scam came to notice. ED's revelations in court are surprising and Abhishek Manu Singhvi's arguments did not prove effective. Kejriwal is the chief minister, but he did not keep any departments with him, nor did he sign any of the crucial files.

For ED, collecting evidences and joining the dots was a humungous task. Now that Kejriwal is in ED custody, it will be a a big challenge for ED to prove its allegations. Till the time the allegations are not proved, opposition parties including AAP will continue to allege that the arrest was part of a political conspiracy. In AAP-ruled Punjab, there were protests by AAP workers in Chandigarh, Mohali, Patiala, Ludhiana and Sangrur, while CM Bhagwant Mann came to Delhi with all his ministers. It is a fact that Kejriwal founded the Aam Aadmi Party, the party was being run by him, and it was Kejriwal who leaded the party to electoral wins in Delhi thrice. This is why the commong workers and leaders of AAP can never think how the party and government will be run in the absence of Kejriwal.

Though publicly, AAP has taken the stand that Kejriwal will continue to remain as CM and AAP convenor even though he may be sent to jail, but this does not sounds practically possible. Already, a PIL has been filed in Delhi High Court seeking removal of Kejriwal from the post of CM after his arrest. When Manish Sisodia and Sayender Jain went to jail, Kejriwal did not take their resignations, but when daily file work of their departments faced obstacles, he had to take their resignations and make Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj as cministers.

Running Delhi government is a complicated job, because of the presence of Lt. Governor, who acts as the Centre's representative. The L-G has vast powers. How can Kejriwal run the government from jail? This is the big question. My information is that if Kejriwal does not resign after going to jail for two days, the L-G may ask him to resign, and this could trigger another legal battle.

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