Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal plays cat & mouse game with ED

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The AAP leaders have been alleging that the ED as a part of conspiracy seeks to arrest Kejriwal to keep him away from the national politics.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 4: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has refused to appear before the Enforcement Directorate for a third time in a row. Kejriwal has cited several reasons to skip the ED questioning in the alleged Delhi Excise Scam.

Playing out the strategy of ‘aggressive defence’, Delhi ministers once again claimed that the ED would arrest Kejriwal. The ministers such as Saurabh Bhardwaj, Atishi, and others posted claims on the social media platforms. They argued that the ED would be raiding the residence of Kejriwal on Wednesday morning and arrest him.

Late Wednesday evening, the leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the ministers held a meeting with Kejriwal at his residence. The AAP leaders have been alleging that the ED as a part of conspiracy seeks to arrest Kejriwal to keep him away from the national politics. Kejriwal in his reply to the third summon has repeated his claims made in previous replies. He has said that he would be busy in official functions such as the upcoming Republic Day celebrations, as well as the Rajya Sabha biennial elections.

The ED has not responded to allegations of Kejriwal that the investigative agency is opaque and politically motivated. The political corridors in the national capital have been abuzz with speculations for several months that Kejriwal would be the natural target for the investigative agency after former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was arrested and jailed in the alleged Delhi liquor scam.

The alibi that Kejriwal holds no portfolio in the Delhi government even while being the chief minister of the city also now is said to not work in his favour. After the arrest of the Rajya Sabha MP of the AAP Sanjay Singh and the Supreme Court prima facie stating that there indeed is a case in the liquor scam, Kejriwal as the head of the party is inviting the scrutiny of the ED.

The ED had intensified raids in Jharkhand on Wednesday after chief minister Hemant Soren refused to appear before the investigative agency despite seventh summon. Going by the pattern, it appears that Kejriwal may buy time by playing the strategy of ‘aggressive defence’ by employing political rhetoric for another three or four months. Kejriwal may also expect that the ED would not take any action against him before issuing four more summons.

The AAP leaders dread that Kejriwal may be arrested after the Lok Sabha elections in the event the incumbent government at the Centre is repeated. The BJP leaders keep their fingers crossed over the likely ED action with a section of them noting that the AAP could be tapping into the sympathy votes in the Lok Sabha elections.  

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