Kejriwal claims ED planning to arrest minister Satyendar Jain, BJP hits back
BJP said Kejriwal was trying to gain public sympathy with his statement though he was aware of the "concrete evidence'' against Jain in a money laundering case
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday claimed to have learnt from sources that the Enforcement Department (ED) is going to arrest his cabinet minister Satyendar Jain just before assembly elections in Punjab and accused the Centre of targeting Aam Aadmi Party after realising that BJP "will lose" in the upcoming polls.
The BJP hit back at Kejriwal, alleging he was trying to put pressure on the agency and gain public sympathy with his statement though he was aware of the "concrete evidence'' against Jain.
The AAP national convenor, however, said that his party leaders and the workers are not afraid of the central government's investigation agencies as they have not done anything wrong and will get relief from the court. He also dared the Narendra Modi government to send the ED or any other agency like the CBI to arrest Jain or anybody in his party.
In a statement, Jain, who holds the Health and other portfolios, asserted that he is not afraid of the ED, CBI or any central government agencies and hit out at the BJP.
"This is an old trick of the BJP, when it realises it will lose elections, it sends out the central agencies to prey on us," he alleged in a statement.
There was no immediate reaction from the ED to the statements.
Jain had been questioned by the ED in 2018 in a money laundering case registered by the agency based on a CBI complaint which alleged that the minister could not explain the source of funds received by four companies in which he was a shareholder.
Assembly polls in Punjab will be held on February 20 while the counting of votes will take place on March 11.
We have learnt from our sources that right before the Punjab polls in the coming few days, the ED is going to arrest Satyendar Jain (Delhi Health and Home Minister). They are most welcome, Kejriwal said at a virtual press conference here.
Earlier too, he said, the Centre had deployed its investigation agency to conduct raids twice but it got nothing against Satyendar Jain.
He alleged that all the investigation agencies of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre have been activated ahead of the elections in five states as the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, "has realised that it is going to be defeated in the polls".
I want to tell the central government and the BJP that they can send their agencies. We are all ready. Send them to me, Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Bhagwant Singh Mann. We will welcome them What will happen in Satyendra Jain's matter? If he is arrested, he will come out on bail within 5-10 days. We are neither afraid of going to jail nor facing raids, he said.
If Jain is arrested, Kejriwal said, his party will not make any hue and cry as Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has been making since the ED raided his relative's residence and offices in Punjab and recovered bundles of notes during the search operation.
He also said that the raids had been conducted against him and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia and AAP's 21 MLAs had been arrested in the past but nothing happened eventually.
The court gave relief in all these matters later, he said.
Whenever BJP realises that it is going to lose (in elections), central agencies are unleashed. We do not fear such raids and arrests because we have not done anything wrong. Such hurdles come when you are on the path of truth, he added.
Reacting to this, Delhi BJP President Shri Adesh Gupta alleged that Arvind Kejriwal "masters the art of media manipulation" and his statement shows that he is aware of being in the wrong.
"An IT inquiry against Satyendra Jain has been going on for quite long and it seems Kejriwal now knows that during inquest concrete evidence have come out against Satyendra Jain.
"In the light of this, Kejriwal with his statement is, on the one hand, trying to pressure the investigating agency to not to arrest Satyendra Jain while on the other the hand he is trying to invoke public sympathy just before elections," Gupta claimed.