News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » Jolt to Kejriwal as minister quits govt, party over Dalit representation

Jolt to Kejriwal as minister quits govt, party over Dalit representation

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
Last updated on: April 11, 2024 01:26 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

In a jolt to the Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand on Wednesday resigned from the cabinet and the party, alleging that it is embroiled in corruption.

IMAGE: Delhi social welfare minister Raaj Kumar Anand (left) hands over 'Samman Rashi' to Manju Gupta, wife of medical superintendent in All India Institute of Ayurveda, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Gupta, who passed away during the COVID-19, in New Delhi, June 12, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Addressing a press conference, Anand, a Dalit leader who held portfolios of social welfare in the Arvind Kejriwal government, also alleged that Dalits were not given representation in the party.

The Aam Aadmi Party claimed Anand's resignation vindicated its stand that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest was aimed at finishing the party and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to "break" its ministers and MLAs.


The BJP hit back, claiming the minister's resignation revealed AAP's "corrupt ways and how the entire party extorts like mafias".

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

The latest setback to the party came a day after the Delhi High Court upheld Chief Minister Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

"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," Anand told reporters.

Asked whether he would join any political party, he replied: "I will not go anywhere."

In response to a query on the timing of his resignation, He said, "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."

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court dismissed Kejriwal's petition challenging his arrest, saying there was no contravention of legal provisions.

Addressing a press conference soon after Anand resigned, AAP MP Sanjay Singh lashed out at the BJP, alleging it was misusing probe agencies against Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and ministers.

"It is 'agnipariksha' (trial by fire) of AAP ministers and MLAs," Singh said at a press conference.

"The reason behind Arvind Kejriwal's arrest is the destruction of AAP. The sole reason behind the investigations and raids by ED is to destroy the AAP. BJP is a criminal party which has been doing this type of hooliganism," he alleged

In November last year, the Enforcement Directorate raided the premises of Anand and some others as part of a money laundering probe.

Anand, who is an MLA from the Patel Nagar, constituency, said that "if someone is feeling suffocated for a long time, then it becomes difficult" to continue in the party.

"But when high court's decision came yesterday and what it said categorically, then it felt that somewhere our party was at fault," he said.

The high court, in its order, had said the ED had "enough material" which led to Kejriwal's arrest, and the trial court remanded him in the custody of the agency by a well-reasoned order.

"From 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 told reporters.

He alleged that AAP doesn't respect Dalit MLAs, councillors and ministers. In such circumstances, all Dalits feel cheated, he alleged and added, "We live in an inclusive society, but it is not wrong to talk about proportion. It is difficult for me to remain in the party with all these things, hence I am resigning from the post."

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said the resignation shows "that people are feeling suffocated in the party (AAP) because they have institutionalised corruption".

"The AAP minister's resignation on Wednesday has revealed the party's corrupt ways. It is now clear how the entire party extorts like mafia and how they spent in the Goa elections... It is unfortunate how the people who wanted to bring change have now become 'the mother of corruption'," he alleged.

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

"Time and again we said that the intention behind arresting Arvind Kejriwal was to break the party and governments of Delhi and Punjab. Many of our colleagues will feel that we hate Raaj Kumar (Anand) and will call him dishonest and cheater. We will not say any such thing....

"Not everyone is Sanjay Singh. I believe that he was scared," Bharadwaj said.

Singh said that earlier the BJP used to call Anand corrupt "when a raid was conducted against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) but now the party will welcome him into its fold with garlands".

"I know some people will feel demotivated. The AAP is standing strong against their (BJP's) attempts to break the party. Even after Kejriwal ji's arrest, be it Manish Sisodia and Satendra Jain, we are standing together and will face all challenges," Singh said.

Delhi BJP Secretary and New Delhi Lok Sabha seat candidate Bansuri Swaraj alleged that Kejriwal, who started politics based on "payback to society," has now reached a point of "kickback to self".

"Anand, who was with Kejriwal, testifies that today both the Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal himself have lost their political credibility in Delhi," she alleged.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the federal anti-money laundering agency.

He was sent to judicial custody on April 1. Currently, he is in jail number two of Tihar.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.