Aam Aadmi Party MLAs alleged in the Delhi Assembly on Monday that the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to bring the national capital under President’s Rule in the wake of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest.

During a discussion on “attempts to unconstitutionally impose President’s Rule in Delhi”, party MLA Madan Lal alleged that the BJP was misusing the constitutional machinery and trying to create an atmosphere of an “undeclared emergency” in the capital.

“The lieutenant governor [VK Saxena] has been heard saying publicly that he will not allow the chief minister to run the government from jail,” the Kasturba Nagar MLA said in the Assembly. “This is an attempt to destroy the rights of the elected government in Delhi.”

Aam Aadmi Party MLA BS Joon said that there was no political or constitutional crisis in Delhi that would justify the imposition of President’s Rule. He noted that the High Court had on three occasions dismissed petitions demanding Kejriwal’s removal as the chief minister.

Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the liquor policy case on March 20. On Monday, a court sent him to judicial custody until April 15 after the central agency did not seek to extend its remand of the Aam Aadmi Party chief.

On March 27, Saxena assured the people of Delhi that the government would not be run from jail. However, the Aam Aadmi Party has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of Kejriwal resigning from his post.

Liquor policy case

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party government modified Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor excise policy by increasing the commission of wholesalers from 5% to 12%. This allegedly facilitated the receipt of bribes from wholesalers who had a substantial market share and turnover.

The Enforcement Directorate alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party used a portion of these bribes for its Assembly election campaign in Goa in 2022.

The agency alleged that Kejriwal himself engaged with key accused persons and urged them to collaborate with others involved in the case. It claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party chief was the “kingpin” and the “key conspirator” in the alleged scam and that material evidence had shown him to be guilty of money-laundering.