Jailed Aam Aadmi Party leaders and Delhi cabinet ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain have finally resigned as ministers, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has accepted their resignations. If sentenced to two years or more in jail, Sisodia and Jain may lose their seats and can’t contest polls for six years.
Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI for alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021–22 in the national capital. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s plea challenging his arrest. The apex court suggested Sisodia to move to Delhi High Court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the court is not inclined to entertain the petition at this stage and suggested Sisodia to move to Delhi High Court. “It can not interfere in the matter as it may open the gate of people approaching the top court in every such matter,” the court remarked.
The court also remarked that various legal remedies are available for Sisodia in different forums including efficacious remedies for quashing FIR and bail plea in Delhi court. The court remarked just because an incident happens in Delhi does not mean the matter will come to the Supreme Court. The court also said that it will set a very wrong precedent.
AAP is accusing everyone except itself
AAP, however, had all along been crying foul that it was Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on whose direction CBI has arrested Sisodia.
AAP has already termed Sisodia’s arrest as BJP’s belief in vendetta politics. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “Allegations against Manish Sisodia are ridiculous. After conducting multiple raids in the last one year, the CBI has found not even a single penny from Sisodia.”
“End of Road” for AAP’s alleged Anti Corruption image?
AAP came into the politics with an alleged promise of anti corruption. However, they are doing all sort of corruption since they assumed to the power. This is not the first case against an AAP leader. AAP’s Delhi minister, Satyendra Jain, also a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested, last year, by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. He has been lodged in jail since May last. The opposition parties — time and again — have questioned AAP’s stand on corruption as Jain still holds Cabinet rank.
Similarly, Punjab AAP MLA Vijya Singla, who was earlier Punjab’s health minister, was arrested, last year, by the state’s Anti Corruption body. Interestingly, he still actively participates in party meetings and attends government functions in his area. In January, Punjab Horticulture Minister Fauja Singh Sarari had to resign from the Cabinet months after his name came up in a case of devising an extortion plan. In the recent incident, AAP MLA from Bathinda rural, Amit Rattan, was arrested over graft charges, this week.
The arrest of Manish Sisodia which followed by his and Jain’s resignation has dented the so called image of “Anti Corruption Crusader”. Manish Sisodia was a second-in-command in AAP, and he had the most influence over the party after Arvind Kejriwal. The party was trying to project itself as a worthy competitor of BJP and was eyeing 2024 general elections and even the PM Chair.
However, now it will be very difficult for Arvind Kejriwal to convince his cadre and voters about his so called vision of corruption free India. It seems the political juggernaut conceived after the famous Anna Hajare’s anti corruption movement has finally come to an end, at least for now.