Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday alleged that industrialist Gautam Adani is merely a front for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the “money actually belongs to Mr. Modi”. Mr. Kejriwal made the statement while addressing the Delhi Assembly.
The BJP retaliated saying the AAP leader is targeting the Prime Minister out of frustration as brakes have been applied to the “wheels of corruption” of his government. Taking exception to Kejriwal’s remarks in the Delhi Assembly, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra also accused the Chief Minister of giving “cover fire” to the Congress party.
AAP, along with other Opposition parties, has been accusing the BJP-led Centre of favouring the embattled Adani Group. On Tuesday, several AAP MLAs, including the Chief Minister, mounted an all-out attack on the Prime Minister in the Assembly and levelled allegations against him over the Adani issue. The House later passed a resolution tabled by AAP MLA Sanjiv Jha seeking a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Adani issue. The resolution also appealed to the Supreme Court to expand the scope of the petition on electoral bonds to look into the possibility of money “looted” by Mr. Adani being transferred to the ruling party at the Centre through electoral bonds.
Citing an unnamed BJP leader, who, Mr. Kejriwal claimed, told him that the Centre “is not allowing a parliamentary investigation as this would cause trouble for Mr. Modi, and not Mr. Adani”.
“[The BJP leader said that] Adani is merely the front and just managing Modi’s money. He gets only a commission of 10-15%, but the money belongs to Modi ji. So, if there’s a JPC or ED or CBI investigation, Modi ji will be affected,” he said.
The AAP chief said the Prime Minister is “looting the country with both hands”. “[He is] Looting coal, airport, roads, electricity, water. Everything is being looted. What the Congress had looted in 75 years, the BJP has looted 10 times more than that in eight years,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
Comparing the situation to the British era, Mr. Kejriwal said whoever comes from a foreign country, Modi ji asks to get photos clicked and to give contracts to Adani. “But these White people are very cunning… don’t know what all they get to make him sign.”
Calling Mr. Modi the most corrupt Prime Minister in the history of Independent India, the AAP chief said, “Our Prime Minister is less educated and has a lust for money. Whoever comes and says two lines about him, hugs him, takes a walk with him in the park and gives two contracts to Adani, in return, we don’t know what all that belongs to the country has been sold off to them [by the PM],” Mr. Kejriwal said.
Hitting back, the BJP said the Arvind Kejriwal government is working in a “dictatorial and unconstitutional manner” in the Assembly and AAP MLAs “spoke in the language of Pakistan”. Addressing a press conference, leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, said the ruling AAP tabled a resolution in the Delhi Assembly just as the Pakistan government had presented a resolution against the government of India in its Parliament. He alleged the AAP government has been brushing aside all rules and traditions, and topics that do not pertain to Delhi are being discussed in the House.
Mr. Patra said two of Kejriwal’s Ministers, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, are in jail in connection with cases of corruption “so humongous that until now they have not received bail or any respite from various courts of the country.” “It shows that Kejriwal may have rhetorical retributions, but on the floor of the court, he has nothing to bring respite to his Ministers because they are corrupt,” he charged.
The BJP spokesperson said the Chief Minister “appeared to be giving cover fire to the Congress party and their corrupt regime”.” “Kejriwal said the regime of the BJP is more disturbing than that of the Congress party. It only means that he was speaking on behalf of the Congress and covering for it,” he charged.
(With inputs from PTI)