Arvind Kejriwal returns to jail at the end of 21-day interim bail for campaigning

Delhi CM claims he is going back to jail because he spoke out against ‘dictatorship’; sent to judicial custody till June 5; Delhi court reserves order till June 5 on plea for interim bail on medical grounds; regular bail hearing on June 7

Updated - June 02, 2024 09:02 pm IST

Published - June 02, 2024 05:11 pm IST - New Delhi

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters and party workers at the party headquarters before returning to prison, in New Delhi on June 2, 2024.

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters and party workers at the party headquarters before returning to prison, in New Delhi on June 2, 2024. | Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal surrendered at Tihar jail on June 2 evening, soon after telling Aam Aadmi Party workers, “I am going back to jail not because I was involved in corruption but because I raised voice against dictatorship.” The 21-day interim bail granted by the Supreme Court to Mr. Kejriwal to campaign in the Lok Sabha election expired as polling came to an end.

Also Read: BJP’s Vijay Goel takes ambulance to Kejriwal’s residence to ‘run tests’ after Delhi court reserved its order on bail plea

Immediately after surrendering, Mr. Kejriwal was produced through a virtual conference before magistrate Sanjeev Aggarwal, who sent him to judicial custody till June 5. A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order for June 5 on an interim bail plea on medical grounds filed by Mr. Kejriwal. The hearing of Mr. Kejriwal’s regular bail plea is scheduled to take place on June 7.

‘Ready to be hanged’

Earlier in the day, the Mr. Kejriwal left his residence after taking the blessings of his parents, and was accompanied by senior party leaders and his wife Sunita Kejriwal as they made their way to Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi. The Chief Minister then went to the Hanuman Mandir at Connaught Place before addressing party workers at the AAP office on his last stop before heading back to jail.

“I do not know what they will do to me in jail. But we are disciples of Bhagat Singh, who went to jail to free the country, I am going to jail to save the country. Bhagat Singh was also hanged, I am also ready to be hanged,” Mr. Kejriwal told AAP workers. He added that he did not know whaen he would return but promised that he would not bow down. “Every drop of my body is for the country. Every moment of my life is for this country,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Watch | Arvind Kejriwal returns to Tihar Jail | Video Credit: ANI

Hectic campaign

Mr. Kejriwal came out of prison on May 11 after spending 50 days in jail, and drove straight into the election campaign not only in Delhi, but also in Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand. He was seen campaigning not just for AAP candidates, but also for Congress candidates in the city. “I was given a 21-day [relief] by the Supreme Court. These 21 days were unforgettable. I did not waste even a minute. I campaigned for saving the country. The AAP is not important, it is secondary. The country comes first,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had admitted that that there was no recovery yet in the money laundering charges against him, hitting out at the PM for calling him an “experienced thief”.

“This is what dictatorship does, it takes the Chief Minister of a State that has come to power with a huge mandate and sends him to jail to send a message that this can happen to anyone. Without any proof, without any recovery, anyone can be jailed,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Medical bail plea

A Delhi court on Saturday did not give the Chief Minister immediate respite in his plea seeking interim bail on medical grounds. Arguing against the granting of interim bail, the Enforcement Directorate asked how Mr. Kejriwal could campaign across the length and breath of the county, but then fall sick when he was due to return to jail.

In his bail application, Mr. Kejriwal claimed that he had lost six or seven kilograms of body weight during his stay in jail, from March till May 10, which he could not regain even after his release. He had suspected that the weight loss, coupled with high ketone levels, could be indicative of kidney damage, cardiac ailments, and even cancer.

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