Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – who had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for the fifth time – will not appear before the probe agency for questioning in the Delhi liquor policy case today.
This comes after Arvind Kejriwal skipped the January 19 questioning, saying that the summons issued by the ED were illegal and its only aim is to arrest him.
Mr Kejriwal, also the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief, had refused to appear before the probe agency on three earlier summons for November 2, December 21 and January 3 as well.
The AAP has slammed the agency’s actions as “politically motivated” and “unlawful”. The AAP has slammed the agency’s actions as “politically motivated” and “unlawful”. “PM Modi’s aim is to arrest Arvind Kejriwal and topple the Delhi government. We will not allow this to happen,” the party said in a statement.
The AAP chief had been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the case in April but had not been made an accused by the agency.
Ever since the first summons was issued by the Enforcement Directorate, there has been intense speculation that the Delhi chief minister would be arrested by the agency after his questioning.
With three of its leaders — Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Satyendra Jain — behind bars, AAP has long been anticipating the eventuality and has discussed the possible courses of action. They even want Mr Kejriwal to remain the Chief Minister and do his job from jail.
The CBI contends that liquor companies were involved in framing the excise policy, which would have brought them a 12 per cent profit. A liquor lobby it dubbed the “South Group” had paid kickbacks, part of which was routed to public servants. The Enforcement Directorate alleged the laundering of the kickbacks.
The BJP has alleged that the proceeds of the alleged scam were used by the AAP to fund its large-scale campaign in Gujarat, in which it got 12.91 per cent votes and established itself as a national party.