The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leadership, including Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Bhagwant Mann, Rajya Sabha MPs, and Delhi & Punjab cabinet ministers held a dharna near the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Delhi today in support of AAP National Convenor & Delhi Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal. The leaders staged the protest after the CM was summoned by the CBI in relation to allegations of the so called liquor scam. The entire AAP cadre has stood behind CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, and these summons will not be able to stifle his voice, said Sardar Bhagwant Mann. He added that the more the BJP tries to suppress CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s voice, the louder it will become. We don’t fear arrest, jail is not a new place for us, we are honest people, let them do whatever they want, he stated. The allegations of the liquor scam are completely false, he said, adding that the policy was implemented in Punjab, and the revenue increased by 41.41% in one year. He added that CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal will not bow down and will keep fighting for the country, and each and every worker of AAP is with him.
Senior AAP Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh said that CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal is being punished for revolutionising healthcare and education, and this fight will continue. Only CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal poses a real challenge to BJP in the whole country, that’s why BJP wants to finish AAP, added Senior Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Raghav Chadha.
AAP National General Secretary (Organisation) and Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Sandeep Pathak also joined the protest and said that each AAP worker will sacrifice their lives, but will not let these people destroy democracy. The AAP leaders have also called on the people of India to stand with them in this fight for justice and democracy.
On Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Bhagwant Mann hit out at the BJP-controlled CBI for summoning Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor Shri Arvind Kejriwal for questioning in the Excise Policy Case and said that the entire country was aware that this was only being done because PM Narendra Modi faced a direct challenge from the AAP supremo. He said that since AAP was now looking to expand to other states and fight the state elections in states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has now decided to target Shri Arvind Kejriwal.
The Punjab CM also pointed out that India was hardly functioning as a democracy at the moment, as the PM does not allow the opposition leaders to ask questions in Parliament about ‘an industrialist who is close to the ruling Central Government’ and at the same time, those who merely criticised the government by putting up posters stating ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao’ are put behind bars. “There are two ‘shahs’ that control everything in the country at the moment, one is Amit Shah and the other is ‘tanashah’ or the dictator. The entire day they think about which news channel to ban. To have a Budget session of the Punjab Assembly, I was forced to go all the way to the Supreme Court. The Punjab Governor was not allowing the state government to function. What kind of democracy are we living in at the moment?” he asked.
Sardar Bhagwant Mann also lauded Shri Arvind Kejriwal for the sacrifice that he has made for the nation. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party was formed from a strong anti-corruption movement. Since then it has formed the government in Delhi twice – both times demolishing the Congress and winning 67 seats in 2015 and 62 seats in a 70-seat assembly in 2020. The party has also formed the government at the MCD this year. The Punjab CM said that AAP has also gone on to change the face of politics in this nation.
Even in Punjab, the residents of the state showed immense faith in AAP and voted the party to power by a huge majority in the state. The main reason for this is that the people know that the AAP-led state government is honest, he said. Since coming to power in Delhi, without indulging in any form of corruption or taking any big loan, several new schools and hospitals have been built and the residents are getting free electricity and water. The Budget of the state government has also increased three times in this time span. He also pointed out that if like other political parties, AAP had also gone on to support the mafia or assist their industrialist friends, then all of this developmental work in Delhi would not have happened.
Highlighting the developmental work that has taken place in Punjab since AAP formed the government in March last year, Sardar Bhagwant Mann said that more than 28,000 government jobs have been provided in the state. He also pointed out that about 82 percent of the households in the state now get a zero electricity bill in Punjab. He also pointed out that 504 Mohalla Clinics have begun to work in the state and soon the state will also have several ‘school of eminence’. He also highlighted that the state government has worked incredibly fast to provide insurance to farmers for their crops that were damaged by unseasonal rainfall.
Revealing how the state government got the funds to do so much developmental work, Bhagwant Mann said that the Punjab government plugged in the loopholes by going after sand mafia, land mafia and transport mafia. He said that the loss to the state government that was carried out by these groups was now stopped and the public money was not being used for the residents of the state.
Sardar Bhagwant Mann pointed out that the residents of both Delhi and Punjab were incredibly happy with the work of the AAP-led governments in both the states, and therefore the BJP had to take some action to stop them. He said that this was why leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party were now being targeted. “The people across the country are widely supporting AAP and this is the reason that it became a National Party within 10 years. In Gujarat, AAP won a 13 percent vote share and now have 5 MLAs. The party also has MLAs in Goa. It has 10 MPs in Parliament, including Shri Sanjay Singh who asks very pointed questions to the BJP. So, the BJP had to take some action, and someone must have told the PM to arrest the leaders who had built hospitals and schools in Delhi and therefore Shri Satyendra Jain and Shri Manish Sisodia have been arrested,” he said.
Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh said that Shri Arvind Kejriwal is being punished for presenting a unique model of development to the world. The fight of Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party against this government that inflicts injustice and tyranny on its own citizens will continue. He said that Shri Arvind Kejriwal will not bow down, but will continue to fight for the country. “Shri Arvind Kejriwal has a dream of making this country No 1 in the world. He will continue with his mission and every other party worker of AAP will stand with him in this mission and take the country forward. There are two ‘shahs’ in this country at the moment, one is Amit Shah and the other is ‘tanashah’,” he said.
Rajya Sabha MP Shri Raghav Chadha said that the people of the country are watching how the BJP is misusing agencies to put opposition leaders in jail. He said that the actions of the BJP show that India is no more a democracy under their government. “There are just a couple of leaders like Shri Arvind Kejriwal who are providing a massive challenge to the BJP and therefore the ruling party is going all out to eliminate AAP. We have formed the government in Punjab as well, and because of our good performance in the Gujarat elections, AAP has become a National Party. This has made the BJP afraid and therefore they are misusing agencies like the CBI and ED to target AAP leaders. The BJP is trying to end democracy by putting opposition leaders in jail, but we will not let them succeed,” he said.
Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Sandeep Pathak said that AAP has faith in the country’s legal system. He said that instead of focusing on taking the country on the path of development and concentrating on their own work, the BJP is attacking AAP because it has realised that the popularity of Shri Arvind Kejriwal is only increasing. He added that when AAP was formed a decade ago, no one including the BJP had anticipated that the party would have gone beyond Delhi. “But when we formed the government in Punjab and gave BJP a strong fight in Gujarat, it realised that the support of the citizens is with AAP. That is when they formed the conspiracy to destroy AAP. We are willing to sacrifice our lives, but we will not let the BJP trample the democratic system in the country. All the corrupt leaders at the moment are with the BJP. If the BJP wants to end corruption, then why not investigate the Adani scam, which has a direct connection to the Prime Minister?” he asked.
AAP Chief Spokesperson and Delhi Cabinet Minister Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj said that Shri Arvind Kejriwal is the party supremo and it is not appropriate for the CBI to summon him in such a manner. He said that the BJP is an arrogant party and it is trying to defame Shri Arvind Kejriwal. But he added that just as earlier said by the Delhi CM, he will go to the CBI Headquarters, if the need be, to answer the same set of questions a hundred times. “The people of Delhi will not stay silent about the injustice being meted out to their popular chief minister. The fight of the Prime Minister is not against corruption. BJP launched an anti-corruption campaign against Himanta Biswa Sarma, Mukul Roy and even Shubhendu Adhikari through the ED and CBI. But later, it went on to appoint Himanta Biswa Sarma as the chief minister of Assam. The BJP thinks that through intimidation and fear, it can silence the opposition’s voice, which is not good for the country,” he said.
Delhi Education Minister Ms Atishi said that the BJP is afraid of the Aam Aadmi Party and therefore it has conspired to stop AAP supremo Shri Arvind Kejriwal. She added that the BJP first arrested their senior leaders Shri Satyendar Jain and Shri Manish Sisodia, because the Aam Aadmi Party was constantly gaining the support of people across the country. “She said that while Shri Arvind Kejriwal has been called for questioning right now, the BJP leaders on TV are saying that he should be arrested. I want to tell the leaders of the BJP that every worker of Aam Aadmi Party are made of such material that they are not afraid of CBI and ED, nor are they afraid of going to jail,” she said.