With the CBI summoning Manish Sisodia for questioning in the excise policy case, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday compared his deputy and jailed minister Satyendar Jain to Bhagat Singh and termed his government's fight with the Centre the "second freedom struggle".
The AAP claimed that Mr. Sisodia would be arrested on Monday and alleged the move was initiated in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat where it is in a direct contest with the BJP.
The reactions from Mr. Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoned Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sisodia for questioning on Monday in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped excise policy.
The federal probe agency has asked the AAP leader to appear before it at its headquarters in New Delhi at 11 a.m. on Monday.
"Jail bars and hanging noose could not deter Bhagat Singh's resolute intentions. This is the second fight for freedom. Manish and Satyendar are today's Bhagat Singh. After 75 years, the country got an education minister who gave good education to the poor and gave hope for a bright future. Prayers of crores of poor are with you," Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
Satyendar Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 30 in connection with a money laundering case.
Reacting to the CBI summons, Mr. Sisodia said he will fully cooperate.
"CBI raid was conducted at my house for 14 hours, nothing came out. Searched my bank locker, nothing came out in it. They did not find anything in my village. Now they have called me to CBI Headquarters at 11 am tomorrow. I will go and give my full cooperation. Satyameva Jayate," Mr. Sisodia tweeted.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, the AAP's chief spokesperson, Saurabh Bharadwaj, said the central probe agency has summoned Mr. Sisodia to arrest him.
"We all understand that Manish ji is going to be arrested by the CBI tomorrow. Orders have already been issued in this regard,” he said.
"But the move to arrest Mr. Sisodia has nothing to do with the alleged excise policy scam. It's about elections in Gujarat where the AAP is in direct contest with the BJP and the people are talking about change and want change,” he claimed.
Mr. Sisodia's arrest will further strengthen the AAP in Gujarat as people are watching why such “repressive actions” are being taken against the party leaders, he claimed.
"We are ready. We are not scared. As many repressive actions are taken against our party leaders that much stronger the party will become,” he added.
The CBI has questioned a number of people, including Sameer Mahandru, the owner of Indo Spirits, Amit Arora, the director of Buddy Retail Private Limited in Gurugram, and India Ahead News managing director Mootha Gautam, in connection with the case.
The agency has arrested Vijay Nair, an AAP worker and a former CEO of Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company, and Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Boinpally, whose partner Arun Pillai has been named as an accused in the CBI FIR.