The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of orchestrating a plot to break the spirit of former Deputy Chief Minister Shri Manish Sisodia. AAP Senior Leader and Delhi Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj stated that PM Modi conspired to have Sisodia manhandled in court, aiming to humiliate and mentally weaken him.
According to Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj, the incident unfolded before the media, as India’s Best Education Minister, Shri Manish Sisodia, was forcefully taken to the ACP Court Room by the Delhi Police. He alleged that this act was carried out on the orders of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as part of a larger scheme to crush AAP leaders and the party itself.
Expressing concern about Shri Sisodia’s well-being, he raised alarming questions about his treatment in prison: Highlighting the apparent double standards of the Delhi Police, he pointed out the contrasting treatment of Sukesh Chandrasekhar, who seems to enjoy leniency despite being in police custody. He also criticised the police for claiming that there is a protocol preventing individuals from speaking to the media in judicial custody while granting special privileges to Chandrasekhar.
Addressing a press conference on the issue, senior AAP leader and Delhi Cabinet Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that in any democracy, it is fairly common to see political parties, both those in power and those in the opposition accuse each other of wrongdoings and file police complaints against one another. However, he said that there is a basic decorum that is usually followed while the political parties indulge in attacking their opponents in the political arena. “There is a very basic decency in politics that states that a political attack against a person should not become a personal attack. When an MLA is accused of a case of corruption, the case will continue in the courts of the country. But everyone is aware than an MLA on an average represents about 2-2.5 lakh people in their constituency. Similarly, a Member of Parliament is elected by around 10 lakh people in his constituency. A Minister is a representative of the entire government, they are a member of the Council of Ministers,” he said.
He added that all politicians, irrespective of their posts are accorded a minimum level of decency when they are presented in front of the judges or taken to the courts. He said that political rivalry should not turn into a personal rivalry where the government tries to humiliate or harass an accused in a case. “Just because your political opponent does not fear you even when they are sent to jail on false charges, you cannot personally attack them or try to crush their self-image by humiliating or harassing them. The attack on a political rival should not be under the belt,” he said.
He pointed out that what happened in the Rouse Avenue court earlier in the day was extremely shameful and was an attack that is below the belt. He said that from time immemorial, an accused or a convict in any case, while being taken to the court, have been allowed to speak to the media, if a few media persons happen to be present at the site. To substantiate his claim, he played out five videos in which a known conman who is jailed in Tihar Jail, Sukesh Chandrasekhar, can be seen freely interacting with the media as he is being taken to the court by Delhi Police officials.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj also went on to say that Shri Manish Sisodia is not like any other ordinary politician in the country. He added that those who have interacted with the former Dy CM of Delhi know him to be a very warm and gentle human being. “He is a very modest and down-to-earth human being. He is known to be very fond of children and interacts with them with a lot of love. He often gets emotional when he is among children and enjoys playing and spending time with them. He has a very different image from any ordinary politician. Even the government officials or school teachers, who have interacted with him, know him to be a very gentle human being. Everyone who has had any interaction with him will tell you that he is a wonderful person,” he said.
The Delhi Cabinet Minister added that the leaders of AAP until now were always worried about the way he was being treated in jail. However, since they did not have any proof to believe otherwise, they did not raise the matter in public earlier. “But what we saw at the Rouse Avenue court earlier in the day today makes us believe that the Delhi Police has been given very clear instructions by none other than the Prime Minister’s Office to do whatever it takes to humiliate Shri Manish Sisodia. The officers have been told to humiliate him and to crush his self-confidence and treat him in front of the public in such a way that the government can take pride in the fact that they have crushed a former Dy CM of Delhi,” he said.
He also added that a lot of people on social media were aghast at the way Shri Manish Sisodia was treated and have been asking for the suspension of that particular police officer. But the Delhi Minister said that there was no point in such things as the officer is merely following the instructions that he has been given from the PMO. He also highlighted that the senior AAP leader is under judicial custody and therefore it is the responsibility of the court to see that an accused in a case does not face misbehavior or harassment from police officials.
Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj first played out the video in which Shri Manish Sisodia can be seen being held by the neck and dragged by a Delhi Police official. After that he played the video in which Sukesh Chandrasekhar can freely be seen interacting with the media persons and said, “You can see how this particular ACP first pushed away all the media persons and then he held Shri Manish Sisodia by his neck and dragged him away from the cameras. You can also see that when Shri Sukesh Chandrasekhar is being taken away by the Delhi Police he is being allowed to give full-length interviews to media channels. He is being treated as if he is a relative of Shri Narendra Modi. The camera persons are allowed to ask him follow-up questions and they are allowed to walk with him and get his response on these questions,” he said.
He highlighted that after this incident took place, the Delhi Police issued a tweet saying that the former Delhi Dy CM was taken away from media persons for his own safety, and it also claimed that an accused in custody is not allowed to speak to the media. Referring to the Sukesh Chandrasekhar videos, he said that these videos are more than enough to debunk the lies of Delhi Police. He further alleged that the Delhi Police believes that they can lie about such things and the people will not get to know the truth.
The Delhi Cabinet Minister had a word of caution for the BJP-led Central Government and said that they need to realise that they are not always going to be in power. He also added that the BJP needs to realise that the rules and precedents being set by them at the moment will go on to continue in the future when they are out of power as well. He also accused the BJP of turning a political fight into a personal fight. “Until now, we have never seen a former Deputy Chief Minister ever being treated so badly under judicial custody. If this is what is happening in front of the cameras, just imagine how these police officials will be treating Shri Manish Sisodia when he is in jail. When our leaders are called for questioning that span the entire day, just imagine the kind of behaviour of these officials?” he asked.
He concluded by saying that this is nothing but an attempt to tarnish the image of the political rivals of the BJP and said that leaders of opposition parties are being targeted and being thrown in jail under false charges. He once again reminded the BJP and said that it is the people who have voted them into power at the moment, but the people are watching how the BJP is misusing central agencies, and that the BJP will not always remain in power. “The people who have voted for you in the past are watching this and the next time you may not be in power. Just because the central agencies are under the control of the government at the moment, it may think that its atrocities will not be investigated. But I want to make it clear to them that just because you control the agencies today does not mean that tomorrow it will continue to be under your control. All the wrongdoings of the BJP will be investigated and those who are responsible for such illegal acts will be punished,” he said.