The BJP today attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party over a video of Delhi minister Satyendar Jain, who was arrested in May in an alleged money laundering case, getting a massage in Delhi's Tihar Jail. Several party leaders shared the video clip on social media, reiterating BJP's charge that Mr Jain enjoys special treatment in jail.
AAP has hit back, calling the BJP 'shameless' for making a spectacle of an ailing man getting treatment. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Satyendar Jain was advised physiotherapy by a hospital after he underwent two spinal surgeries following an injury in jail.
Satyendar Jain's legal team also approached a special court with an application seeking contempt action against Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the judge issued notice to the agency. Mr Jain's legal team alleged that the ED leaked the CCTV video despite promising the court not to do so.
"Special court issues contempt of court notice to ED on Satyendar Jain's application for leaking Tihar CCTV footage to BJP & others. The court will hear on Monday how did BJP get the confidential footage and why it was circulated?" Satyendar Jain's lawyer Mohd Irshad tweeted.
Earlier, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has become 'spa and massage party', challenging Mr Kejriwal to explain Satyendar Jain's conduct in jail. He accused the AAP of hypocrisy on 'VIP culture'.
"Where is Arvind Kejriwal hiding now. Satyendar Jain can be seen enjoying massage and meeting visitors in his cell in total violation of rules and prison laws. This VVIP culture in jail is dangerous for democracy," Mr Bhatia said in a press conference.
Mr Sisodia called the video "BJP's stunt" to "distract" from upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat. Addressing the media soon after the video surfaced, he said the video leak was against court directives.
The video comes just days after the Superintendent of Tihar Jail, Ajit Kumar, was suspended for alleged VIP treatment of the jailed minister.
The action was taken on the recommendation of an inquiry committee constituted by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi after jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar accused the Superintendent of jail number 7, where Mr Jain is locked up, of extending undue favours.
Responding to the video, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Satyendar Jain was injured while in jail and is getting treatment.
AAP had earlier too dismissed the allegations of Mr Jain getting VIP treatment, calling them absurd and baseless.
The video, released today, purportedly shows Satyender Jain getting a foot, back and head massage in his cell at Tihar jail. NDTV has not been able to independently verify the video.
"VVIP treatment in jail! Can Kejriwal defend such a mantri? Should he not be sacked ? This shows true face of AAP!" BJP's Shehzad Jai Hind said in a tweet, sharing one of these videos.
One more— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) November 19, 2022
All rules thrown to the dustbin!
VVIP treatment in jail! Can Kejriwal defend such a Mantri? Should he not be sacked ?
This shows true face of AAP!
Vasooli & VVIP Massage inside Tihar Jail! Tihar is under AAP govt pic.twitter.com/psXFugf7t5
In a press conference, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that corruption is rampant in the Aam Aadmi Party. "You created the party to combat corruption, and end VVIP culture. But here, a corrupt person is getting all facilities," Mr Bhatia said.
Last month, the Enforcement Directorate also alleged that Mr Jain is living a luxurious life in jail. The probe agency had also submitted CCTV footage in a Delhi court. It accused Mr Jain, who is also the prisons minister, of taking unfair advantage of his position.