Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party had offered to close all cases against him if he joined the outfit.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a first information report against 15 persons, including Sisodia, alleging irregularities in a proposed new liquor policy for the capital city. On August 19, the central agency had raided Sisodia’s official residence in central Delhi and 20 other locations in seven states and Union territories in the case.
On Monday, Sisodia claimed he told the BJP he was a descendant of Maharana Pratap and a Rajput by caste and that he would cut off his head but not bow down before the “corrupt conspirators”.
“All the cases against me are false,” he tweeted. “Do whatever you want to do.”
In another tweet, Sisodia claimed that the BJP had offered to make him the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Sisodia added that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is his mentor and he would never betray him.
“I am not her to become CM, my dream is – every child of the country should get good education, only then India would become the number 1 country,” he said. “Only Kejriwal ji can do this work in the whole country.”
At a press conference in Gujarat, Sisodia claimed that those who offered him to join the BJP, had told him that they got Suvendu Adhikari, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Jayant Panda to join the outfit, reported NDTV.
At another press conference held in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that there were three dozen examples of the BJP putting pressure on leaders of rival parties with investigations and then dropping cases once they switched sides.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said it was shameful that Sisodia was comparing himself to Maharana Pratap, asking if the 16-century king of Mewar ever made people drink alcohol.
“You are comparing Maharana Pratap with someone facing a corruption case?” he asked. “Such corrupt people can only find a place in AAP. He will get punishment for his wrongdoing. BJP works to ensure punish wrongdoers like Manish Sisodia. No place for the corrupt in BJP.”
Sisodia deserves Bharat Ratna: CM
Kejriwal, who was with Sisodia in Gujarat, said that his deputy deserves a Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, for his work as the education minister of Delhi, reported The Indian Express.
“The entire country’s education system should be handed over to him, but instead, they conducted CBI raids on him,” the chief minister said.
He added: “Sisodia may be arrested. Who knows I may also be arrested. All this is being done for Gujarat elections.”
Gujarat will go to polls in December. The Aam Aadmi Party has said it would contest all the 182 seats in the BJP-ruled state.
Case against Sisodia
Apart from Sisodia, the central agency has named former Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, former Deputy Excise Commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, Assistant Excise Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies in its list of accused persons.
The excise policy 2021-’22, formulated on the basis of an expert committee report, came into effect in November. Under it, licences of 849 liquor shops were issued to private firms through open bidding. Earlier, four government corporations ran 475 liquor stores and the remaining 389 were private shops.
However, it was withdrawn by the Aam Aadmi Party-led government on July 30 after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended an inquiry into the new policy’s formulation and implementation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In the FIR, the central agency has alleged that the Delhi deputy chief minister and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions about the excise policy without the approval of competent authority with “an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post tender”.