Manish Sisodia in soup; AAP’s ‘rising star’ next to face heat

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 27: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday secured a five-day custody of deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia in the alleged liquor scam. Sources said that the CBI finally swooped down following a “solid case backed with evidences”.

Sisodia, who is seen as the proxy of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has been accused by the CBI for not cooperating during investigations. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is seeking to make a political capital out of the arrest of Sisodia by raising the allegations of vendetta against the Narendra Modi-led National democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

Incidentally, Kejriwal is among rare chief ministers in the country who don’t hold any portfolio. This is in contrast to the trend of chief ministers usually holding more than a dozen departments, while also being the finance minister in states. Having no department under his charge, Kejriwal remains insulated from the actions of the investigative agencies even while the ‘New Excise Policy’ because of which Sisodia has been arrested was the decision of the Delhi government headed by the chief minister.

Congress belatedly joined in the condemnation of the Sisodia arrest. “Congress has always held the belief that institutions like ED, CBI and Income Tax Department have become instruments of political vendetta and harassment under Modi Sarkar. These institutions have lost all professionalism. Opposition leaders are selectively targeted to destroy their reputation,” tweeted Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary who is in-charge of the communication department.

While the ED (Enforcement Directorate) has been seen much in action in throwing noose around the Opposition leaders in the last few years, the CBI too has now joined the party by nabbing Sisodia. However, the ED is also likely to proceed with its charges against Sisodia, which may make the access to bail tough for the deputy chief minister, sources said. His colleague Satyandra Jain is in the Tihar Jail after he was nabbed on the ED investigations.

Sources said that the investigative agency is stitching out the trail of the people within the AAP and the Delhi government who partook in the alleged liquor scam. “A high profile young leader of the AAP, who has been instrumental in the expansion of the party outside the national capital, is next on the radar for which active role in the excise scam,” sources said.

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