Several AAP leaders, including MP Sanjay Singh, were detained today after a massive protest by them against the questioning of Manish Sisodia by the CBI in the liquor policy case. Around 100 leaders and workers were detained from outside the CBI office, they will be released soon, a Delhi Police official said.
Dramatic visuals showed the leaders being pushed into a bus by the police. Several women workers, while being taken to the bus, alleged the police "misbehaved" with them.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh was detained along with other protesters or unlawfully protesting at the CGO complex, where large gatherings are banned, a senior police officer said.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi earlier in the day predicted his arrest as part of what he called a BJP “plan” to stop him from campaigning for the upcoming Gujarat election. He also took out a roadshow in an open-roof SUV on his way to the CBI office and made many stops, including at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Raj Ghat, and addressed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers.
Mr Sisodia, 50, left home after a “tilak” ritual, accompanied by AAP leaders like party MP Sanjay Singh and MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj. He also shared a video of his mother blessing him.
माता जी का आशीर्वाद लेकर CBI हेडक्वार्टर जाते हुए | LIVE https://t.co/PW2lFX87UZ— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) October 17, 2022
The CBI has prepared a list of questions and will ask them in “several phases”, sources say. The evidence found so far, and statements of others accused in the “liquor scam” will be placed before the Deputy Chief Minister, they say.
"They raided my home, nothing came out of it. They went to my village to find anything against him, but they got nothing. Now they plan to arrest me to stop me from campaigning in Gujarat. I am not afraid of CBI, ED (Enforcement DIrectorate) or going to the jail," he said, addressing party workers on the way.
"Even Bhagat Singh had to go to jail for the country," he declared.
The BJP criticised the roadshow and said it was seeming like "Aam Aadmi Party has won the World Cup of corruption".
"The way Manish Sisodia was raising slogans in an open car on the streets along with his supporters today, it seems as if Aam Aadmi Party has won the World Cup of corruption," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Backing his deputy, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged the case against him was "completely fake". He also tweeted a cartoon depicting Mr Sisodia in a heroic avatar. The picture shows him holding a shield named "Delhi education model" while helping a girl study even as arrows named ED and CBI rain on him.
The AAP boss claimed Manish Sisodia "will be kept in jail till the Gurajal election results are out". "Gujarat results will be out on December 8. These people will keep Manish in jail till then," tweeted Mr Kejriwal.
The dates for the Gujarat assembly polls haven't been announced so far by the Election Commission.
Mr Sisodia, hours before his questioning, attacked the BJP in a series of tweets. "The BJP is scared because it knows it's losing Gujarat... Their purpose is to stop me from going to Gujarat," he tweeted.
लेकिन मेरे जेल जाने से गुजरात का चुनाव प्रचार रुकेगा नहीं। आज हर गुजराती खड़ा हो गया है। अच्छे स्कूल, अस्पताल, नौकरी, बिजली के लिए गुजरात का बच्चा बच्चा अब चुनाव प्रचार कर रहा है। गुजरात का आने वाला चुनाव एक आंदोलन होगा।— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) October 17, 2022
Large gatherings were banned around his house to stop AAP workers gathering there and a heavy police contingent was seen at the spot.
Mr Kejriwal, Mr Sisodia and others in his party allege that the BJP is targeting them because of their campaign in Gujarat, where AAP has challenged the ruling party.
The CBI had filed a case in a Delhi court in August against Mr Sisodia and 14 others under various sections, listing charges like criminal conspiracy and corruption. The CBI is investigating if the AAP government's liquor policy aided liquor cartels.
The liquor policy, implemented from November 17 last year, was scrapped by Arvind Kejriwal government in July following a CBI probe recommended by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.
The Centre alleges that the AAP government violated rules while implementing the policy that handed over the sale of liquor to private players, shutting down government-run outlets. Mr Sisodia said the policy was meant to tackle corruption and fight the powerful liquor mafia.