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'No way Kejriwal can be saved'

March 22, 2024 08:59 IST

'The evidence against Kejriwal is strong.'

IMAGE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being taken to the ED headquarters in New Delhi following his arrest on March 21, 2024. Photograph: Ishant/ANI Photo

For the last six years, Bharatiya Janata Party vice president (Delhi) Kapil Mishra has been shouting from rooftops that he will expose Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as corrupt.

No wonder, then, when the Enforcement Directorate arrested Kejriwal from his residence on Thursday evening, Mishra was an elated man.

He tweeted on X an earlier interview with INDIA TV Editor Rajat Sharma where he predicts that Kejriwal will land in jail.

A former close aide of Kejriwal in the Aam Aadmi Party, Mishra fell out badly with him in 2017, only to join the BJP and become an arch-rival.

"I never expected he will be jailed so soon in this case. I felt this case will go on for very long, but it is the blessing of God that we got justice within six years," Mishra tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/

You have been saying from day one, ever since Delhi's excise policy money trail came out, that Arvind Kejriwal will land in jail. Why were you convinced that he was involved?

I have been fighting non-stop against Arvind Kejriwal's corruption for the last six years. When I highlighted the issue of black money and hawala money in AAP, only then did Satyendra Jain go to jail.

The same thing I have been highlighting regarding the excise policy in which Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia went to jail.

Later, another AAP leader Sanjay Singh too went inside and now Kejriwal is also arrested.

No court was giving bail to Kejriwal. Kejriwal's governance policy was all about money-making. His intentions were not good from day one.

It was a long struggle of six years for me, which has come to a decisive conclusion today after his arrest.

The AAP was formed on the platform of India Against Corruption in 2013. You were a part of that party then, so it is surprising to see you say that AAP itself has become corrupt.

This party was surely made to fight against corruption, but Kejriwal's intention was never good.

If you recall, he had said then that he will always stay in a two- room apartment but later he made a sheesh mahal (grand palace) for himself.

He had said then he will travel only in one car, but then we saw how he started traveling with a 32-car convoy later.

Whatever Kejriwal promised, he did exactly the opposite of that in real life.

He came to politics to fight against a political party (Congress) and now he has done an alliance with the same party for the Lok Sabha elections.

The direction in which Kejriwal was heading had to end in jail.

I have always been saying that the last chapter of politics of Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh will end in Tihar jail. And it has ended the same way.

You were an active AAP leader, so when did you start getting disillusioned with the party?

My disillusionment with Kejriwal started when I saw in the party on how he started protecting the corruption of Satyendra Jain.

I started speaking against that publicly. (Later, Mishra was sacked by Kejriwal in 2017).

After which I have been raising my voice against the excise policy corruption regularly.

I must admit, though, that I never expected he will be jailed so soon in this case. I felt this case will go on for very long, but it is the blessing of God that we got justice within six years.

AAP leader and Delhi Finance Minister Aatishi says there is not a single rupee trail that has been found in the excise policy case as is being alleged by the Enforcement Directorate. And that this case is pure political vendetta by the BJP.

When the Supreme Court of India refused to give bail to Manish Sisodia, it said there is a money trail of Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion).

Moreover, whichever court Manish Sisodia or Sanjay Singh went to, those courts have refused to give bail on seeing the evidence presented before them.

This afternoon (March 21, 2024), Kejriwal was not given relief by the high court. The evidence against Kejriwal was presented in a closed chamber. It means ED has evidence against Kejriwal which the court has also seen and the ED is confident (of his conviction), therefore he has been arrested.

Let AAP leaders say whatever they want, but no one can deny that no courts in India gave bail to Kejriwal.

It is very clear now that the evidence against Kejriwal is strong and this matter will reach conviction.

AAP leaders say the BJP wants to send Kejriwal to jail to ensure that he cannot campaign in the general elections which are a month away. They are making it Modi versus Kejriwal.

Let me clarify that it is not the ED who has delayed Kejriwal's arrest, but Kejriwal himself delayed his own arrest.

He was first summoned in November 2022, but he kept on delaying appearing before the ED.

He wanted to stretch his summons till the general elections.

He gave excuses not to attend the summons because of his busy campaigning schedule for the assembly elections.

Today, it was the Delhi high court which told him that the court cannot give him any protection from arrest. And therefore he has been arrested.

Now if you want to add two plus two to make it five by stating that he has been arrested because of general elections, then I cannot help with such wisdom.

Moreover, AAP is contesting only 12-13 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and they are irrelevant in a general election. Today, the people of Delhi are getting justice after Kejriwal's arrest.

Won't public sympathy move to Kejriwal after his arrest, which will be a loss to the BJP?

Kejriwal's credibility was over a long time ago.

When Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh were arrested there was no protest in Delhi by the public.

It is because the people of Delhi want to get rid of a corrupt chief minister.

It is very unfortunate for the people of Delhi that after fighting corruption against Sheila Dixit's government they got a bigger corrupt leader in Arvind Kejriwal.

Today is the day of justice for Delhi and a day of great relief.

There is no public sympathy for Arvind Kejriwal.

He was dodging the ED for so many months because he knew public support was not with him.

If he knew he had public support he would have gone straight to the ED office on day one when he was summoned.

Do you think scrapping the excise policy after a CBI inquiry was Kejriwal admitting in a way that there was corruption?

Arvind Kejriwal was trying to be over smart. He did partnership with the south lobby of Telangana and involved Vijay Nair in the excise policy.

Manish Sisodia on the other hand broke all his phones and computers after each financial transaction in the excise policy. He did this to destroy evidence.

On the other hand Sanjay Singh made one of his close associates a partner of 20 percent in accused Dinesh Arora's (now an approver in excise policy case) company.

This became an open and shut corruption case.

Digital evidence by ED is strong against Kejriwal.

There is no way he can be saved in this case.