Day after CBI raids, Manish Sisodia says 2024 polls will be Modi Vs Kejriwal | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Day after CBI raids, Manish Sisodia says 2024 polls will be Modi Vs Kejriwal

Aug 20, 2022 01:37 PM IST

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the CBI raids over the Delhi government’s excise policy were aimed at stopping Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s rise in national politics

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said the raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over the Delhi government’s excise policy were not related to corruption, but to stop Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s rise in national politics.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia addressing a press conference at his residence in central Delhi’s Mathura Road on Saturday. (PTI)
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia addressing a press conference at his residence in central Delhi’s Mathura Road on Saturday. (PTI)

Sisodia, whose residence and office were searched by the central agency for 14 hours on Friday, said Kejriwal’s policies, especially on health and education, have now been noticed globally and added that the 2024 general elections will be a direct contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kejriwal.

Addressing a press conference at his residence in central Delhi’s Mathura Road, Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s excise and finance minister, defended the excise policy 2021-22, which is being probed for alleged irregularities in its formulation and implementation, saying the policy was “the best” of its kind. Asserting that he did not commit any wrong, Sisodia said that he may get arrested in the coming days and added that he was not scared of going to jail.

“Their (BJP) issue is not liquor/excise scam or corruption. Their problem is Arvind Kejriwal because his policies are showing results. Kejriwal knows how to get work done. People used to ask Modi versus who. Now we have the answer. In the 2024 elections, the battle is going to be Modi versus Kejriwal. They saw our win in Punjab too and now nationally people are talking of Kejriwal. That is why they (BJP) want to stop Kejriwal and have unleashed their agencies on his ministers and other AAP leaders,” Sisodia said.

Sisodia alleged that the central agencies took away Satyendar Jain, who was Delhi’s health minister, and now are after him so as to pull down Kejriwal’s health and education models as it has been positively noticed by people globally.

Also Read |CBI raids Manish Sisodia: Delhi’s liquor sector reform, and where it went wrong

Launching a direct attack on PM Modi, Sisodia said, “You all know what has happened in many states. This does not suit you, Modi ji. You have the nation’s mandate. Let the CMs work in their state. The difference between Kejriwal and PM Modi is, if anyone does good work, PM Modi wants to pull them down. But Kejriwal encourages them and learns from them,” he said.

The minister said had the central government been interested in corruption, then CBI and the enforcement directorate (ED) raids would have been conducted in Gujarat. “If they (the Centre) were really interested in corruption or liquor scams then the entire headquarters of CBI and ED would have shifted to Gujarat because in that BJP-ruled state there is excise theft amounting to 10,000 crore every year. Those who are giving instructions to CBI to act against us, they themselves are involved in this scam in Gujarat. If they were interested in corruption, then the Centre would have been investigating the lapses behind the caving in of the Bundelkhand Expressway just five days after PM Modi inaugurated it,” the deputy chief minister said.

Defending the excise policy, Sisodia said the Delhi government was implementing it with transparency and sincerity. “Had the then Delhi LG not changed his decision conspiring to fail the policy, the Delhi government would’ve been getting at least 10,000 crore every year,” he said.

Talking about the raids by CBI, he said, “Apart from my residence, CBI also raided my offices as the education minister and deputy chief minister in the Delhi Secretariat. All officers, in both places, were great people. They behaved very nicely. They had to obey orders from high command, but I would like to thank them for having behaved so nicely, even with my family.”

Sisodia also commented on the controversy over the New York Times article on Delhi’s education model, and said that the same newspaper had published the gory state of India sometime last year showcasing the large number of deaths due to mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Indian government. “The same New York Times which published a story on AAP’s education model on the front page yesterday (Friday) had printed a photo of how thousands of bodies of Covid victims were being cremated along the Ganga. It was shameful to me as an Indian. But this story on Delhi’s education model makes us proud. I am not saying I did something for which we were featured on the front page of the New York Times. It is because of Delhi’s teachers. I want to thank them,” Sisodia said.

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