A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided his residence and other locations in connection with alleged irregularities in the recently withdrawn Delhi Excise Policy, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, on Saturday, alleged that the raids against him were politically motivated and hence had nothing to do with the alleged violations in Delhi’ Excise Policy and also claimed that the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will see a direct contest between the BJP and AAP.
Addressing a press conference here, Sisodia claimed that the election will be held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
After the Punjab assembly election, Kejriwal has emerged as an alternative at national level and that is their (BJP’s) main concern, Sisodia said.
The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister said he might be arrested soon stating that the liquor issue or the excise policy was just an excuse to target him since he was a minister under the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “Maybe within the next 3-4 days, CBI-ED will arrest me… we won’t be scared, you won’t be able to break us… Elections of 2024 will be AAP Vs BJP,” he anticipated.
“Their issue is not liquor/excise scam. Their problem is Arvind Kejriwal… whole proceedings against me, raids at my residence and office, are to stop Arvind Kejriwal… I haven’t done any corruption. I’m just Arvind Kejriwal’s Education Minister,” the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister added.
Pointing out that Delhi’s excise policy was the best policy, Sisodia said,” Excise policy due to which whole controversy is created is the country’s best policy. We were applying it with transparency and sincerity. Had Delhi LG not changed his decision conspiring to fail the policy, Delhi government would’ve been getting at least Rs 10,000 crore every year.”
“Around Rs 10 thousand crore were misappropriated through excise policy in Gujarat. If they have any concern about the excise irregularities or any loopholes, the whole CBI and ED office should have shifted to Gujarat,” the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister said.
“If they were really against corruption, then today, ED and CBI should have probed the Bundelkhand Expressway which developed deep potholes due to heavy rainfall, shortly after Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the expressway,” he claimed.
“While Kejriwal thinks how to develop the nation on all parameters, Prime Minister Modi thinks how to topple the non-BJP governments in the states and form their government,” Sisodia alleged.
“CBI FIR, quoting sources, mentions Rs one crore scam, what about the highest claim of Rs 8,000 crore made by BJP leaders, he asked.
The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister further said that “America’s biggest newspaper The New York Times covered Delhi’s education model on its front page on August 18. It is a pride moment for India. Another story showing thousands of bodies being cremated along the Ganges was published around one and half years ago. However, that was shameful for all of us”.
“This is the difference between PM Modi and Arvind Kejriwal is that if Kejriwal sees anyone working honestly, he encourages them to do more, but they conspire to obstruct the way. I would like to say that this does not suit PM Modi who has got such a massive victory,” Sisodia added.
Earlier on Friday, the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister said that he and his family had cooperated with the CBI, which he claimed was “being misused” by the Centre, on a day when the investigative agency carried out raids at multiple locations in connection with a case linked to the AAP government now withdrawn excise policy.
Speaking to the reporters after the CBI officials left after a 14-hour-long raid on Friday, Sisodia said, “CBI team came this morning. They searched my house and seized my computer and phone. My family cooperated with them and will continue to cooperate. We have not done any corruption or wrong. We are not afraid. We know that CBI is being misused.”
The CBI conducted raids at 31 locations including various big cities in connection with the recently withdrawn Delhi Excise Policy and registered a case against Sisodia among 15 persons.