NEW DELHI: Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party, whose senior leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain have been arrested in unrelated cases, Saturday accused the BJP-led Centre of misusing the probe agencies to finish the opposition and turn India into an autocracy.
Addressing a press conference, AAP Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Raghav Chadha claimed that Sisodia was set to get bail but CBI deliberately did not let its lawyer appear before the court and a next date for the hearing was fixed.
''In the meantime, ED also made up its mind to arrest Sisodia in the same case to ask the same questions based on the same evidence,'' he charged. ''This is a textbook example of abuse of law. Probe agencies are abusing the process of law.'' Sisodia, the former deputy chief minister of Delhi, was arrested by CBI on February 26 in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.
On March 9, a day before Sisodia's bail plea was to come up for hearing before a CBI court, the Enforcement Directorate arrested him on money laundering charges in the excise policy case. Later, the ED got his custody till March 17.
Jain was arrested in May last year by the ED in connection with a money laundering case.
Both the leaders are currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail.
Chadha claimed that if Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Abhishek Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena (UBT), Farooq Abdullah of NC, D K Shivakumar Congress, K Kavitha of BRS, Tejashwi Yadav of RJD join the BJP, then all the ED and CBI cases against them will be closed.
This is the truth of the matter and this is the kind of politics that the BJP is indulging in at the moment, he alleged.
The AAP national spokesperson further alleged that no other political party in the history of India must have misused probe agencies as much as the BJP.
He accused the BJP of trying to form a ''no-opposition India and convert its democracy into an autocracy''.
''The agencies are being misused to break the backbone of every other political party in India and to jail their leaders under some pretext or the other,'' Chadha said.
''The aim is to have one nation, one party, one leader.'' He claimed there are multiple leaders who while in opposition parties had numerous cases registered against them but as soon as they joined the BJP they were cleared of all charges.
''The BJP has now become a washing machine that without any detergent powder manages to clear corruption charges against any leader,'' Chadha said.
He said the CBI and the ED first registered a case against Sisodia in August last year. ''Over the last six months, multiple raids were conducted at his office, residence, bank locker and even ancestral village and yet nothing was found on him. But still he was arrested due to political reasons,'' the AAP leader said.
''On the other hand, the son of a BJP MLA in Karnataka was caught red-handed with Rs 8 crore of unaccounted and illegal wealth. Yet, he was not arrested. He was not even called for any form of questioning by an agency and in fact, the agencies went ahead and got anticipatory bail for the accused,'' he alleged.
Chadha claimed that since 2014 when the BJP came to power at the Centre, around 95 per cent of the cases of alleged corruption being probed by the CBI have been against the leaders of the opposition parties.
Notably, 30 cases have been registered against leaders of the Trinamool Congress, 26 cases against leaders of the Indian National Congress, 10 cases each against leaders of RJD and BJD, six cases against YSRCP leaders, five each against those of BSP and TDP, four cases each against leaders of AAP AIADMK, he said.
Later in the day, senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey termed the BJP a ''corrupt-politician purifier party''. The AAP and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were being targeted to divert attention from the Adani issue, he claimed.
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