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CBI grills Sisodia for 9 hours; ‘Whole case is fake’, says Deputy CM

Ahead of questioning by CBI in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam case, Sisodia said that plans are being made for his arrest to keep him away from campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat.

Nikhil Vyas | New Delhi |

Amid protests by the AAP leaders and workers, the CBI today grilled Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for nine hours in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam case being investigated by the probe agency.

Addressing media persons after being questioned for 9 hours by the CBI in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam case, Sisodia said, “Today I saw in the CBI office that there is no issue of any scam (excise policy case). The whole case is fake. I understood all that in the 9-hour questioning today. The case is not to probe any scam against me, but to make Operation Lotus successful in Delhi.”

“The CBI will evaluate the answers given by (Delhi Deputy Chief Minister) Manish Sisodia and if needed, he will be summoned again later. No summons to Sisodia for tomorrow,” an official said.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police detained several AAP leaders and workers, who were protesting in front of the CBI headquarters here where the questioning of Sisodia was held for several hours during the day in the alleged excise policy scam case.

The detained AAP leaders included Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, MLAs Durgesh Pathak and Rakhi Bidlan, and others. They, along with other workers were taken to a nearby police station by the Delhi Police.

Before heading for the CBI office, Sisodia went to his party’s headquarters from where he stopped at Rajghat (Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi). The AAP workers also took out a massive rally to show their solidarity with him.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra attacked the AAP for the rally and called it a “celebration of corruption”.

Ahead of the questioning of the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, the police imposed section 144 CrPC outside his residence and a number of police personnel were also deployed to avoid untoward incidents in case of a protest by the AAP workers.

However, scores of workers, who had arrived with Sisodia at the agency headquarters on bike and cars on Monday, sat on dharna outside the headquarters holding placards and raising slogans, amid police presence.

Ahead of questioning by CBI in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam case, Sisodia said that plans are being made for his arrest to keep him away from campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat where AAP is posing a big threat to the incumbent government.

Without naming the BJP, Sisodia tweeted, “They raided my house but didn’t find anything. They searched my bank locker, hoping to find papers of unaccounted property, gold or money. They also went and questioned people in my village, thinking I would have bought land there. They found nothing… These people want to put me in jail because of the response AAP is getting in Gujarat. But this will not stop us. Even the children in the state are campaigning for us.

“They are preparing to arrest me by making a completely fake case. I was to go to Gujarat for an election campaign in the coming days. These people are losing Gujarat badly. Their purpose is to stop me from going to Gujarat election campaign,” he added.

“But my arrest will not stop the Gujarat election campaign. Today every Gujarati has stood up and every child of the state is now campaigning for good schools, hospitals, jobs, electricity. The coming elections in Gujarat will be a movement.”

Ahead of questioning by CBI in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam case, the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister also showed his strength as he stepped out on the road with patriotic songs playing in the background with his supporters. “We will not bow to dictatorship and this is the second war for independence”, he said.

Sisodia also sought blessings of his mother at his residence before leaving for
the CBI office. Several AAP leaders, including party MP Sanjay Singh and MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj, were present at his home.

While extending support to his deputy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the case as fake. “Nothing was found in the raid at the residence of Manish and his bank locker. The case against him is totally fake. He had to go to Gujarat for campaigning that’s why he is being arrested but the campaigning will not stop. Every person in Gujarat is campaigning for the AAP in Gujarat,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Sisodia reached the CBI headquarters at around 11.15 am
where he was summoned in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Sisodia is the accused number one in the FIR filed by the CBI in the case.

The FIR was lodged under sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) and 477-A (Falsification of accounts) of the IPC.

The allegations against Sisodia are that liquor businessmen were allegedly given exemption of Rs 30 crore. The licence holders were allegedly given extension according to their own will and the policy rules were made by violating excise rules.

It also said that Sisodia and a few liquor barons were actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees to public servants, who have also been accused in the case.