Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, has underscored that the good works of the Aam Aadmi Party government will not stop come what may. Speaking to reporters after the 14-hour raid at his home, he denied any wrongdoing and said the BJP is misusing the Central agencies for political purposes. “But the work of providing good education and health will continue, the Delhi government will not stop,” he said.
The CBI carried out day-long searches at Mr Sisodia’s Delhi home and 31 other locations across seven states over allegations that the liquor policy of the Delhi government is steeped in corruption. Mr Sisodia handles the excise department.
The policy, which was put in place in November, was scrapped in July after investigations started. Mr Sisodia said his computer and phone have been seized.
Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had recommended the CBI probe last month after a report from the Chief Secretary alleging irregularities in the new liquor policy. It has been said that liquor shop licenses were handed over to private players for benefits to political leaders.
In its First Information Report filed on Wednesday, the CBI claimed that a liquor trader has paid Rs 1 crore to a company managed by an associate of Mr Sisodia. He is Number One in a list of 15 people named in the FIR.
“We are extremely honest people,” Mr Sisodia told reporters at a press conference late this evening. “We have not done anything wrong and will continue to work honestly. We have built schools for millions of children by working honestly. We have built hospitals working honestly, where millions of people have got treatment”.
AAP has claimed that the Centre’s blowback came after the Delhi government’s work in the education sector received high praise and a front page article was published in the largest US daily, New York Times.
“The CBI raids come on a day when the Delhi education model was praised and Manish Sisodia’s picture printed on the front page of America’s largest newspaper NYT (New York Times)” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
When the BJP tried to disparage the article, calling it “paid news”, the NYT issued a strong, swift response, saying, “The New York Times is always independent, free from political or advertiser influence.
“Our report about efforts to improve Delhi’s education system is based on impartial, on-the-ground reporting, and education is an issue that The New York Times has covered over many years. Journalism from,” Nicole Tylor, a spokesperson for the newspaper, told NDTV.