The BJP on Saturday alleged that AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was the “kingpin” in the “liquor scam” as the war of words between the two parties escalated after the CBI named Manish Sisodia an accused in the case.
At a press conference, Union Minister Anurag Thakur accused the Aam Aadmi Party of trying to divert the issue from the alleged scam by linking the CBI action to politics as its “real face has been unmasked”.
Making light of AAP leaders’ claim about their rising poll prospects which they alleged have prompted the BJP to use the probe agency against it, Mr. Thakur said the party had made tall claims ahead of a number of elections but could not stand before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It could not open its account in the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, he said, asserting that the BJP under Modi will better its Lok Sabha tally in 2024 in the same way it had improved on its 2014 show in 2019.
Sisodia had earlier claimed that the 2024 polls will be a battle between Kejriwal and Modi who he alleged was using all means to scare the AAP chief.
Seeking to put the AAP in a dock over the alleged scam in the allotment of liquor license in the national capital by the Kejriwal government, Mr. Thakur asked its leaders to answer questions over the issue.
It is a government of “revdi” (freebies) and it is also a “bevdi” (drunkards) government, he alleged and asked why it returned over ₹144 crore to liquor companies without the Cabinet approval.
Sisodia is the accused number one in the case but Kejriwal is the kingpin behind the scam, Mr. Thakur said.
Taking a dig at the deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Thakur referred to him as “Money Shh”, alleging that he makes money and maintains silence.
He was flanked by Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta and Lok Sabha member Manoj Tiwari, with both Delhi leaders also attacked Kejriwal over the issue.
The CBI on Friday morning carried out searches at the residences of Sisodia and IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna apart from 19 other locations after registering an FIR in connection with the alleged corruption in implementation of the Delhi excise policy.
Mr. Thakur said Kejriwal’s “left hand” Satyendar Jain is already in jail on corruption charges and his “right hand” Sisodia is facing serious charges.
The party which would make big claims against corruption is now immersed in it from Delhi to Punjab, he alleged.
Sisodia was so scared, Mr. Thakur claimed, that he could not handle questions asked by journalists.
Noting that the Delhi excise policy was implemented with complete transparency and there was no scam, Sisodia said they want to stop Arvind Kejriwal whose work on education and health is being talked about in the world.