Manish Sisodia tweets: “Like Bhagat Singh, I’m willing to endure jail time for my nation.”
On Sunday around 11 am, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia arrived at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters to face questioning in the liquor policy case. Prior to his arrival, he was given a passionate send-off by his supporters from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Quick rundown: 10 key takeaways from the major news piece
- Mr. Sisodia embarked on a roadshow of AAP supporters, leaving his home just before 10 am. He stood out of the sunroof of his car while the supporters waved placards and chanted slogans. After the roadshow, he paid a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Delhi’s Rajghat and delivered a speech. Some AAP leaders claimed to be under house arrest due to fears of Manish Sisodia’s potential arrest by the CBI.
- Addressing his supporters, Mr. Sisodia stated that even if he was imprisoned for 7-8 months, they should not feel sorry for him but instead be proud. He accused PM Narendra Modi of being afraid of Arvind Kejriwal and attempting to frame him in a false case. He urged his supporters to continue their fight and to take care of his wife, who has stood by him throughout his journey and is currently unwell and alone at home. Additionally, he encouraged the children of Delhi to study hard and listen to their parents.
- In a tweet, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, expressed his support for Manish Sisodia, saying that God and the blessings of thousands of children and parents are with him. Kejriwal stated that going to jail for the country and society is not a curse, but a glory. He added that he hopes for Sisodia’s swift return from jail and that the people of Delhi, including children and parents, will be waiting for him.
- On February 19, the CBI summoned Manish Sisodia, the Finance Minister of Delhi and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), for questioning. However, Sisodia requested a week’s time to prepare the Delhi Budget, and the CBI granted his request.
- Manish Sisodia and other individuals have been accused of corruption in relation to the implementation of a new liquor sale policy in the national capital. The CBI probe into the matter was ordered by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena last year. The Delhi government has since returned to the old liquor policy and has held the Lieutenant Governor responsible for revenue losses worth crores of rupees.
- The BJP has alleged that the Delhi government reverted to the old liquor sale policy to conceal corruption in the excise department led by Manish Sisodia. The CBI has filed charges against seven suspects in the liquor policy case, but there is no mention of Sisodia in the chargesheet.
- The CBI has announced that it is investigating the alleged involvement of a “South Lobby” consisting of businessmen and politicians in influencing the Delhi liquor policy in their favour through middlemen, traders, and bureaucrats. Butchibabu Gorantla, a former chartered accountant of K Kavitha, leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was recently arrested by the CBI in connection to the case.
- The AAP has accused the BJP at the centre of being responsible for the Lieutenant Governor’s decision to involve the CBI in the investigation of Mr Sisodia. The liquor policy case has become a significant point of contention between the AAP and the Lieutenant Governor, and consequently, the centre.
- The Supreme Court granted the AAP’s request that members of Delhi’s civic body, who were nominated by the Lieutenant Governor, be barred from voting in the mayoral election, which led to further tension between the AAP and the Lieutenant Governor.
- In November of last year, prior to the mayoral election, Arvind Kejriwal had accused the center, with the Lieutenant Governor acting as a proxy, of attempting to harm the AAP’s election campaign in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP had won the election by a significant margin.