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Cong leader joins BJP's demand for Kejriwal's resignation

March 23, 2024 21:37 IST

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Saturday said Arvind Kejriwal must step down as Delhi chief minister on moral grounds following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy-linked money laundering case.

The Aam Aadmi Party national convener was arrested in Delhi on Thursday night but has been defiant about staying on as Delhi CM.

In a post on social media platform X, Nirupam said, "What is the truth behind the liquor policy will be decided by the courts. A chief minister has been accused and is in custody. He is still sticking to his post. What kind of morality is this."

Kejriwal is facing the biggest test of his life and deserves sympathy but his stand of not stepping down is hurting Indian politics, the former Congress MP said.

While highlighting the action of leaders of different parties who had resigned from their posts after facing accusations, Nirupam said "an 11-year-old political party is keeping an example in Indian politics of being completely immoral".

The Bharatiya Janata Party also slammed Kejriwal's continuation as the chief minister of Delhi despite being under arrest, saying it is the most unfortunate moment in the country's political journey and the worst kind of politics.


With the AAP leaders strongly defending their leader, Union Minister Anurag Thakur mockingly said they are competing to replace him as the chief minister but his wife has also joined the race now, a reference to Sunita Kejriwal reading out the AAP national convener's message which was also broadcast on news channels.

Speaking to reporters, he also lashed out at Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann over the death of at least 20 people in Sangrur due to the consumption of spurious liquor, alleging the entire Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has sunk into one liquor-related scandal or another.

Asked about Delhi minister Atishi's demand for action against BJP president J P Nadda as she alleged a link between an accused-turned-approver in the excise policy case and the donation his company made to the saffron party through electoral bond, Thakur laughed it off.

Will anybody take bribe through the electoral bond, he asked, claiming that the electoral bond, struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, was aimed at transparency.

In terms of its proportionate strength, the BJP has got less money through bonds compared to parties like the Trinamool Congress, he claimed.

AAP leaders are making all kinds of comments to outcompete each other to become the chief minister, he said, adding that Kejriwal left even Anna Hazare feeling cheated by his conduct.

Speaking to reporters, the BJP leader dismissed the opposition parties' expression of solidarity with Kejriwal as a case of "thieves showing brotherhood" and cited the Congress' past complaint against the Delhi chief minister over the alleged liquor scam to question the party over its support to him.

Nobody is saying Kejriwal is innocent and there has been no scam, Thakur asserted.

"Why has the Congress become so helpless and weak," he said in a swipe at the main opposition party whose Delhi leaders used to attack the AAP over the excise policy case in which Kejriwal has been arrested.

The Congress, Thakur said, should laud the ED for taking action in the case and arresting the accused as its leaders, including Ajay Maken, had targeted the AAP for the "scam".

"The kingpin has been arrested and the one who gave us wisdom on morality and honesty says he will run the government from jail," Thakur said, noting that somebody like RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, convicted in cases related to fodder scam, at least chose to install his wife in his place before being arrested.

The relations of this "corrupt" party with those liquor or spurious liquor traders need to be found out, he said, slamming Mann's alleged silence over the tragedy.

With Kejriwal refusing to join the probe before his arrest by claiming that the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate was illegal and part of the BJP's political vendetta, Thakur noted how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had presented himself for questioning when he was the Gujarat chief minister.

Modi asserted the supremacy of law and came out stronger, he said, hitting out at Kejriwal and also the Congress, which has claimed the Income Tax department's recent action against it is driven by the Modi government's vendetta to cripple its finances during the polls.

The Congress did not file IT returns in time and thinks it is above the law, he said, accusing the party of arrogance.

Thakur said the people of the country believe in Prime Minister Modi's guarantees of development and action against corruption. They can see that action against the corrupt is happening, he added.

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