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AAP reacts to minister's exit: 'It's our agnipariskha'

Last updated on: April 10, 2024 23:37 IST

The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday claimed the resignation of Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand vindicated its stand that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest was aimed at finishing the party.

IMAGE: Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj addresses the media on Raaj Kumar Anand quitting the government and AAP, New Delhi, April 10, 2024. Photograph: ANI/X

Addressing a press conference, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it was using the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to "break our ministers and MLAs".

"Now don't call yourself 'a party with a difference' and don't talk about ethics and values. BJP members should blacken their faces and roam around because you have no character," he said.


Singh asserted that although the resignation may demotivate some party workers, the Aam Aadmi Party will largely stand strong against attempts to break the organisation.

"I feel from today onwards we will not be asked one question -- 'Why do you think after ED's raid Aam Aami Party and its leaders might break? ' From the first day itself, we have said that the intention behind Kejriwal's arrest was to break and finish the Aam Aadmi Party.

"The Bharatiya Janata Party is a criminal party which has resorted to this kind of hooliganism - by using ED and CBI it is trying to break our ministers and include them in their party. They did the same thing in Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh," Singh said.

He said that it was an "agnipariksha" (trial by fire) of AAP ministers and MLAs and they should decide how they want to be remembered in future.

Singh also asked his party workers not to be scared or feel demotivated by the resignation.

"This is a test for AAP and its leaders. Decide how you want to be remembered. Whether you want to be remembered as a brave or a coward. History will witness how you will face a corrupt party like the BJP during this time," he said.

Singh claimed that Anand would soon join the BJP and added that it is the same party that once called him corrupt "when a raid was conducted against him by the Enforcement Directorate."

"He is the same Raaj Kumar Anand who was raided for 23 hours. The entire BJP from top to bottom was shouting and calling him corrupt at that time. Their top leaders like JP Nadda ji, Piyush Goyal, and Anurag Thakur, gave statements that Raaj Kumar Anand is corrupt."

"But now you can wait and watch BJP's real character and face. By tomorrow or in the near future, the party which was itself criticising the man for being corrupt will garland him," he said.

Anand, who was holding various portfolios including Social Welfare, resigned from the Delhi cabinet and quit the AAP, alleging Dalits were not given representation in the party.

Singh also dared the press to question Nadda when Anand will "be welcomed by the BJP in their party".

"Tomorrow when you will watch the scene then ask Nadda ji why are you garlanding him? I will watch how many of you will dare to ask this question," he said.

Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed that Anand may have been threatened to quit AAP.

"People will think we now hate Raaj Kumar bhai, that we consider him as a traitor. We will not say any such thing."

"I believe a man has to look after his family, children, reputation and relatives and the idea that ED will arrest him and keep him in jail for years has scared him. Not everyone can be Sanjay Singh," Bharadwaj said.

He claimed that Anand had earlier said in front of his colleagues that he felt pressurised.

"Many times Anand had said to party colleagues that whenever I get active, I get phone calls. This is how a man, coming from Dalit community, who is elected minister is being threatened, then imagine the condition of the common people in the country when they (BJP) win the elections," he claimed.

Terming the resignation as "suicide", he said, "I want to tell my leaders don't get scared. Become like Sanjay Singh, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, don't become like Raaj Anand".

Announcing his resignation, Anand said, "The Aam Aadmi Party is embroiled in corruption. Given the situation, it has become difficult for me to stay in this party. That is why through your medium I want to convey that I am resigning from this party and my minister's post."

He also said that the party doesn't respect Dalit MLAs, councillors and ministers.

He also took a swipe at Kejriwal, who is in Tihar jail after being remanded in judicial custody in an excise policy-linked money laundering case and has failed to get any relief from the Delhi High Court.

"Till yesterday, we were under the impression that we are being framed, but after the High Court verdict, it seems that there is something wrong at our end," he said.

"From the Jantar Mantar, Arvind Kejriwal had said that the country will change once politics changes. The politics hasn't changed but the politician has changed," Anand, who is an MLA from the Patel Nagar constituency, said. 

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