On CBI Raids, Manish Sisodia’s ‘AAP vs BJP’ Dare for 2024

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A day after he was raided by the CBI over charges of corruption in the now-withdrawn Delhi liquor policy, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led central government, saying it was not worried about the excise fraud, but about Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who they see as a challenge to Prime Minister Modi in the 2024 general elections.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said: “Their issue is not liquor/excise scam. Their problem is Arvind Kejriwal… whole proceedings against me, raids at my residence & office, are to stop Arvind Kejriwal… I haven’t done any corruption. I’m just Arvind Kejriwal’s Education Minister.”

He added: “Maybe within the next 3-4 days, CBI-ED will arrest me… we won’t be scared, you won’t be able to break us… the elections of 2024 will be AAP vs BJP.”

Sisodia said people used to always ask ‘Modi versus who’. “Now, a nationwide atmosphere in favour of Kejriwal is being created. It’s Modi versus Kejriwal,” he said.

Defending the excise policy, Sisodia said it was the best excise policy and could have benefitted Delhi by crores, but the issue is not the excise policy. “Had excise been the issue, CBI would have been in Gujarat,” Sisodia said.

He added that BJP’s trouble is not liquor or corruption, their trouble is the growing popularity of Arvind Kejriwal. “After Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal has emerged as a national alternative. This is their trouble. And this entire operation at my department, residence is to stall Kejriwal. All these are part of the script being written to stop him,” the minister said.

Launching a direct attack on PM Modi, Sisodia said it does not behove PM Modi that he is only dreaming of pulling down state governments. “You all know what has happened in many states. This does not suit you, Modi ji. You have the nation’s mandate. Let the CMs work in their state,” Sisodia said.

Sisodia is on top of a list of 15 accused named in the CBI’s FIR on liquor policy violations. The offences listed in the 11-page document are corruption, criminal conspiracy and falsification of accounts.

Under the policy launched in November, liquor shop licenses were handed over to private players. It was rolled back by Sisodia on July 30 after a probe was started initially by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing.

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