The Central Bureau of Investigation raids at Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia’s home took place as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre wants to prevent the Delhi model of governance from being discussed globally, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.
“The whole world is discussing the Delhi model on education and health,” Kejriwal claimed in a tweet. “That is why the Delhi health minister [Satyendar Jain] was arrested and raids were conducted on the education minister [Sisodia].”
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday searched Sisodia’s home, as well as 20 other locations, in a case related to alleged irregularities in Delhi’s new excise policy. Kejriwal said that the raids took place on a day when The New York Times published an article praising Delhi’s government’s work in improving the condition of government-run schools.
“In the past 75 years, whoever tried to do good work was stopped,” the Delhi chief minister said. “That was why India was left behind.”
Kejriwal, referring to The New York Times article, said that Sisodia’s work as an education minister was put on a global pedestal. “After years, a positive article about India was published,” the chief minister said. “Earlier, an article was published about India having registered the most number of coronavirus-related deaths.”
Kejriwal claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation carried out searches at Sisodia’s house as it had “orders from above” to harass Aam Aadmi Party leaders.
Kejriwal, however, said that the party’s leaders will cooperate with the inquiry. “Many investigations and raids happened earlier as well,” he said. “Nothing was found then, and nothing will be found now.”
The case against Sisodia
Under the new excise policy that came into effect in November, licences of 849 liquor shops were issued to private firms through open bidding in New Delhi. Earlier, four government corporations ran 475 liquor stores and the remaining 389 were private shops.
However, the new policy was temporarily withdrawn after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into it on July 30.
Saxena accused Sisodia of procedural lapses in the policy and of giving undue benefits to liquor licensees. Sisodia heads the Excise Department of the Delhi government.