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Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal Sidesteps ED Summons, Prioritizes Election Campaign

  • Posted on November 2, 2023
  • Politics
  • By TSW NEWS DESK
  • 160 Views

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to forego his scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding the alleged excise policy scam. Instead, he will be embarking on an election campaign in Madhya Pradesh. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader has been summoned in connection with a money laundering case linked to the scandal, which unfolded six months after his initial questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the same matter.

Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal Sidesteps ED Summons, Prioritizes Election Campaign Image Source -www.indiatoday.in

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to forego his scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding the alleged excise policy scam. Instead, he will be embarking on an election campaign in Madhya Pradesh. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader has been summoned in connection with a money laundering case linked to the scandal, which unfolded six months after his initial questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the same matter.

The summons to Kejriwal has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED intends to record his statement upon his appearance before their investigating officer in Delhi. As of now, the AAP has refrained from confirming whether the Chief Minister will indeed present himself to the ED.

Earlier in April, Kejriwal had faced a barrage of approximately 56 questions from the CBI concerning the liquor scam. At that time, he dismissed the entire affair as "fabricated" and an attempt to destabilize the AAP. His current summons by the ED represents the first time he has been called in by the agency. In their chargesheets related to the case, the ED has mentioned Kejriwal's name multiple times, asserting that the accused were in communication with him regarding the Delhi Excise Policy 2021–2022.

The questioning of Kejriwal seems to stem from allegations made by Butchibabu, an accountant allegedly connected to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha. Butchibabu has stated that there was a "political understanding" between Kavitha, CM Kejriwal, and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Additionally, there are claims that Kejriwal met with several other individuals related to the excise policy, including Dinesh Arora and YSRCP MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy.

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Manish Sisodia, who was arrested by the CBI in February, is currently incarcerated in a money laundering case stemming from the CBI's FIR. His bail plea was recently rejected by the Supreme Court. This rejection followed the establishment of a tentative transfer of Rs 338 crore in the case. The CBI was called in last year to investigate alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy, as recommended by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena based on the chief secretary's report.

The excise policy for 2021-22, issued by the Delhi government, is under scrutiny for its alleged favoritism towards certain liquor traders who were accused of paying bribes for licenses. The AAP vehemently denies these charges, but the policy was subsequently rescinded. The Lieutenant Governor's recommendation for a CBI probe led to the ED registering a case under the PMLA.

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