New Delhi [India]: Aam Aadmi Party leader Sandeep Pathak on Tuesday said that all AAP MLAs demanded that Arvind Kejriwal should not resign a day after the meeting of all Members of Legislative Assembly Delhi amidst the Enforcement Directorate summon to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
‘Yesterday, there was a meeting of MLAs. All MLAs demanded that Arvind Kejriwal should not resign. All the MLAs said that even if he (Kejriwal) is sent to jail, he should run the government from jail but should not resign,’ said AAP MP Sandeep Pathak.
Terming the ED summons as a ‘trap’ Sandeep Pathak said, ‘The question is why this situation came about. This is a political trap started by BJP.’
Meanwhile, Delhi Minister Atishi on Monday said that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders will seek permission from the court to allow Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to operate from jail if he is arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
‘We will seek permission from the court to allow CM Kejriwal to operate from jail in case he is arrested by the ED. If the Chief Minister goes to jail, the files will have to be moved there. Cabinet meetings will be held there’, Atishi told media.
Earlier, the ED had summoned the Delhi chief minister for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam.
However, the Delhi CM demanded the Enforcement Directorate (ED) withdraw its ‘vague and motivated’ notice summoning him for questioning, claiming that it was ‘illegal and politically motivated’.
‘The said summons is not clear as to the capacity in which I am being summoned i.e. as a witness or a suspect in the above-mentioned case. Please recall the said summons, which is, to say the least, vague and motivated and I am advised, unsustainable in law,’ Kejriwal stated in his letter to Jogendar, Assistant Director, ED.
He further alleged that the said summons appears to be politically motivated and issued for extraneous considerations.
‘Simultaneous to the summons, in the afternoon of 30.10.2023, BJP leaders started making statements that I would be summoned and arrested. By the evening of that day, I received your summons. It is thus apparent that the said summons was leaked to select BJP leaders to malign my image and reputation and has been issued at the behest of the ruling party at the Centre,’ his letter read.
It further stated that the said summons did not specify whether he was summoned as an individual or in his official capacity as Delhi CM or as Aam Aadmi Party convenor adding that it appears to be ‘in the nature of a fishing and roving inquiry’.
Further, the chief minister stated, ‘Being the National Convenor and a stay campaigner of the Aam Aadmi Party, a National Party, which is contesting elections, I am required to travel for campaigning and to provide political guidance to my field workers of Aam Aadmi Party.’
‘As the Chief Minister of the State of NCT of Delhi, I have governance and official commitments, for which my presence is required, particularly in view of the Diwali festivities coming up in the second week of November 2023,’ it added.
Arvind Kejriwal was earlier summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April this year, in connection with the case.
However, Kejriwal was not named as an accused in the first information report (FIR) filed by the CBI on August 17, last year.
In February 2023, Arvind Kejriwal’s Deputy Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi’s new excise policy. the policy was withdrawn amid allegations of foul play by the opposition.
The Supreme Court on October 30 dismissed the bail plea of Manish Sisodia in connection with cases related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy case. The court directed to complete the trial in the case in six to eight months. The court, while refusing bail, also took note of the aspects regarding the transfer of a money trail of Rs 338 crores, which is tentatively established.