INDIA bloc slams Centre for Kejriwal’s arrest


Opposition leaders question the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest, with elections just days away and on a day when EC made the comprehensive electoral bond data public…reports Asian Lite News

Several political parties condemned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest by the ED on Thursday, claiming that it shows how “jittery” the ruling BJP at the Centre is with less than a month to go for the Lok Sabha polls.

The opposition parties also accused the BJP of indulging in vendetta politics. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an excise policy-linked money laundering case on Thursday evening, officials said.

Reacting to the development, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are in “panic” over their impending rejection by people in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Strongly condemn the arrest of Delhi CM, Shri Arvind Kejriwal by the ED. It’s the second sitting CM of the INDIA bloc to be arrested,” Yechury said in a post on X. “Clearly, Modi and the BJP are in panic over people’s rejection in the ongoing elections,” he added. The Left leader said Kejriwal’s arrest will only “cement” people’s desire to defeat the BJP in the parliamentary polls.

“All opposition leaders who defected and joined the BJP are protected and patronised. They are the ‘Satya Harishchandras’! These arrests will only cement people’s desire to defeat BJP, defend democracy and Indian Constitution,” he said.

CPI general secretary D Raja claimed that the BJP’s “desperation” before the general election is on full display.

“They know the hollowness of their claims of 400 seats and that’s why opposition is being targeted by abusing central agencies. The arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the arrest of then Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren show how jittery the BJP is. This harassment is only intended to intimidate the opposition.

“People will give a befitting answer to this in elections by throwing BJP out of power,” Raja said in a post on X.

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) questioned the arrest at a time when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in place.

“The election process has begun. And now this! Chiefs of political parties, CMs, political leaders, election agents, workers, every opponent being harassed and arrested like this. What will be the fate of our precious democracy,” the TMC’s Parliamentary Party leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said in a post on X.

“Let us all save democracy from impending disaster,” he added.

O’Brien condemned Kejriwal’s arrest and said the Election Commission (EC) and the Supreme Court should take action in the matter.

“We vehemently condemn the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, an elected CM, especially when EC is in charge and MCC is in place. Earlier his administrative powers were snatched through an illegal ordinance,” he said.

“How can we expect fair elections in India if sitting CMs and prominent opposition leaders are arrested weeks before polls? If SC and ECI fail to act now, who will stand with people against BJP’s oppressive politics in future?” the TMC leader asked.

SC to hear Kejriwal’s plea

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea of the Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal against his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case linked to a money laundering case.

A special bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh and Bela Trivedi will hear the matter. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned Kejriwal’s plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for an urgent hearing.

“If this process goes on, before the first vote is cast, a lot of senior leaders will be behind the bars. Please take it up,” Singhvi told the bench.

CJI then asked him to mention his plea before a special three-judge bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, which was hearing the plea of BRS leader K Kavitha against her arrest by the ED in the liquor policy case, at that time.

However, by the time Singhvi reached Court number 2 of Justice Khanna, the special bench sitting had concluded and the regular two-judges bench of Justices Khanna and Dipankar Datta assembled.

Singhvi then mentioned the matter before Justice Khanna, saying the CJI asked him to mention the matter before him for hearing.

Justice Khanna told Singhvi that since it was a writ petition and would have to go before the three-judge special bench, which dealt with similar connected issues.

Justice Khanna then said that the special bench will assemble today after hearing the regular bench matters.

The petition was filed by Kejriwal, challenging the arrest by the ED last night subsequent to his arrest.  (ANI)

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