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CBI raid on Kejriwal aide triggers political slugfest

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 15, 2015

Livid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressing the media in New Delhi, on Tuesday SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

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Delhi CM calls Modi coward, says agency was looking for DDCA file on Arun Jaitley

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and a psychopath” following CBI raids on his secretary’s office on Tuesday, provoking the BJP to demand an unqualified apology from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.

Unfazed, Kejriwal asserted that the agency’s sleuths had been sent by the Centre to look for a file relating to the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) that implicated Arun Jaitley. The Finance Minister had been the DDCA’s chief for many years.

The face-off started in the morning when the CBI conducted searches at Kejriwal’s office and over a dozen other places after it registered a corruption case against his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar.

The agency claimed it has seized cash of about ₹13 lakh, including ₹2.4 lakh from the residence of Kumar, as it simultaneously conducted raids at about 14 locations in the national capital and Uttar Pradesh.

The Delhi Chief Minister asserted that the raids were part of the Centre’s design to destabilise him politically. “When Modi couldn’t handle me politically, he resorted to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and a psychopath,” he tweeted.

To the CBI’s claim that it was not Kejriwal but his secretary who was being raided, he said: “CBI is lying. My own office is being raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants.”

The issue echoed in Parliament with the entire opposition attacking the Centre for “political vendetta”. Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said “there is an undeclared Emergency in the country. This is not a party issue. This is about the federal structure of the country”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked the members not to be “misled” by the campaign that Kejriwal’s office has been raided. “The Chief Minister’s Office has not been raided. The raid has nothing to do with Arvind Kejriwal or his tenure. There is a corruption case against an officer of the Delhi government. The raid is in relation to that officer. It is his office that has been searched,” he said.  

BJP huddle

As Kejriwal continued to describe the raid as part of the Centre’s design to attack him politically, top BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu were closeted in the Home Minister’s office in Parliament House for almost an hour.

After the meeting, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Kejriwal’s response to the CBI raids was “uncalled for, unwarranted, shameful and condemnable”.

“The Chief Minister has used highly abusive language against a popular Prime Minister. Kejriwal should tender an unconditional apology to the PM,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Prasad asked Kejriwal why he did not “do due diligence” while picking an officer to be his secretary. “When he was leading a movement against corruption, Kejriwal used to read out lists of ‘corrupt politicians’. We’d like to ask him why he has picked an officer with a dubious past to be his secretary. I, too, am a Minister. When we select officers for the secretary’s post, we establish the credentials of an officer. Why did Mr Kejriwal not follow this process?” Prasad said.

Published on December 15, 2015
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