- AAP is set to contest next year's Punjab, UP polls
- Raghav Chadha said he wants to "expose political witch hunt of AAP"
- The AAP leader did not reveal much in his tweet
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday hit out at the ruling BJP over an Enforcement Directorate notice to Pankaj Gupta, the party's National Secretary.
Mr Gupta has been summoned for questioning on September 22 in connection with a money laundering case involving former AAP (and now Congress) leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
The central agency is believed to have taken cognisance of two FIRs relating to alleged drug trafficking and fake passports, and initiated a probe against Mr Khaira, who quit the AAP (it was an acrimonious departure) in 2019 and joined the Congress in June this year.
Agency sources told NDTV Mr Khaira had raised donations of approximately US$ 100,000 from the United States for the AAP, and that this amount is now under scrutiny.
Mr Khaira has denied all allegations and declared that he is being targeted by central agencies as he has been vocal against the government's three farm laws.
Mr Kejriwal slammed "these tactics of the BJP" - a reference to opposition parties alleging the BJP uses central agencies to intimidate its leaders - and insisted the AAP will emerge "stronger".
"In Delhi they tried to defeat us with IT Department, CBI, Police - but we won 62 seats. As we grow in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Gujarat - we get an ED notice! People of India want honest politics - these tactics of BJP will never succeed, they will make us stronger," he tweeted.
In Delhi they tried to defeat us with IT Dept, CBI, Delhi Police - but we won 62 seats. As we grow in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Guj - we get an ED notice! The people of India want honest politics- these tactics of BJP will never succeed, they will make us stronger https://t.co/JjWy7MQfH4— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 13, 2021
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha, who earlier tweeted about a "love letter from the Modi government's favourite agency", accused the BJP of trying to "character assassinate" the party after failing to defeat it at the polls.
BJP couldn't "Electorally Assassinate" AAP, hence tring to "Character Assassinate"— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) September 13, 2021
Modi Govt's Favourite agency - ED has written a love letter to AAP ❤️, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act
Modi govt is afraid of AAP's rise in Punjab, Goa, UK, Gujarat#ModiFearsKejriwalpic.twitter.com/aS2vZQCpBg
"The Enforcement Directorate should be given an office space just beside the BJP headquarters. They are a frontal organization of BJP," Mr Chadha raged.
.@raghav_chadha lashes out at Modi's puppet ED!— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) September 13, 2021
"Enforcement Directorate should be given an office space just beside the BJP headquarters. They are a frontal organization of BJP."#ModiFearsKejriwalpic.twitter.com/tBCoPjp6CX
Mr Chadha's reference to a "love letter" from the Enforcement Directorate - which investigates financial crimes and is part of the Union Finance Ministry - was a nod to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's swipe.
Mr Raut's remarks were echoes of those recently made by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and NCP boss Sharad Pawar.
Mr Pawar last week called the multiple probes by the Enforcement Directorate "an attempt to encroach upon state's rights... and discourage opponents by using these agencies as tools".
Ms Mufti, whose mother was questioned for three hours last month, had said: "... institutions supposed to protect our rights and uphold the Constitution have been Talibanised".
Ms Banerjee hit out at the government over summons to her nephew and Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee over an alleged coal mines scam.