Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made a startling claim today after a nine-hour questioning by the CBI. Mr Sisodia told reporters that the officials planned to question him about the Delhi government’s controversial alcohol policy, asking him to quit the ruling Aam Aadmi party. He claimed that they even threatened that his case could go ahead like that of Delhi Minister Satyndar Jain, who has been in jail since May on suspicion of money laundering. “They will make you a CM,” he quoted officials as saying. The agency immediately denied it.
“The CBI strongly refutes the allegations and reiterates that the review of Shri Sisodia was conducted in a professional and lawful manner in strict accordance with the allegations against him in the FIR. The investigation of the case will continue in accordance with the law,” a statement read in Sisodia Soon after Mr.’s statement hit the headlines.
Returning home after a marathon question-and-answer session that began at noon, Mr. Sisodia told reporters, “There was a discussion about excise policy, but I was forced to back down. ‘These cases will continue like this. They will make you a CM,’ they said. “.
“I told them I was delighted when the rickshaw driver’s son joined the IIT,” he said. “Today I learned that the CBI is not investigating any scams … the case against me was just to make Operation Lotus a success,” he added.
The AAP claimed that the BJP had tried to launch “Operation Lotus” in Delhi and Punjab – to overthrow the opposition government by poaching its priorities. In Delhi, the party even tabled a resolution against it in parliament last month.
The source said Mr Sisodia was asked about the alleged involvement of alcohol companies in setting alcohol policy. The agency also questioned allegations that liquor companies made 12% of profits in the process, 6% of which was passed on to civil servants through intermediaries such as Hyderabad businessman Abhishek Bonipally.
Other big issues are the alleged damage to the state in the process and irregularities in the implementation of policies, such as cabinet approvals after the new rules are implemented.
AAP has been preparing for Mr Sisodia’s arrest, much to the AAP’s relief that the agency did not subpoena him for a second meeting.
Mr Sisodia’s house was subject to multiple searches by the CBI in August after obtaining permission to investigate from Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. The Deputy Chief Minister is the main defendant in the case, which involved private actors offering kickbacks to political leaders in exchange for liquor store licences.
The AAP has announced that Mr Sisodia will now be arrested for what it calls a “political vendetta” by the BJP.
The AAP claims that the BJP is “scared” by the outcome of the Gujarat parliamentary elections and wants to prevent key leaders from running in the state.
Party chairman and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has claimed that the BJP plans to keep Mr Sisodia behind bars after the Gujarat elections. But he added that there was no prison to keep his deputy inside. “The locks of the prison will be broken and Manish Sisodia will be free,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier today, several AAP leaders, including MP Sanjay Singh, were detained after a mass protest against the questioning of Manish Sisodia. About 100 leaders and workers were detained outside the CBI office.