ED wants AAP's LS poll strategy details from Kejriwal's phone: Atishi

The excise policy was implemented in 2021-22 and the chief minister's current phone is just a few months old, Atishi claimed

AAP leader Atishi Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on 28 March (photo: PTI)
AAP leader Atishi Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi on 28 March (photo: PTI)
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PTI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is working as BJP's political weapon and it wants to get details of AAP's Lok Sabha election strategy by accessing Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's phone, senior AAP leader Atishi alleged on Friday, 29 March.

Kejriwal, who is the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was arrested by the central probe agency on 21 March in the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case and is in its custody till 1 April.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Atishi claimed the insistence of the ED to look into Kejriwal's mobile phone, which is a few months old and did not exist when the policy was formed and implemented, proves that the agency is working as a "political weapon" of the BJP.

Hitting back at Atishi, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva accused her of "bluffing" and asked the AAP to explain to the people why Kejriwal and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia "changed phones frequently".

No immediate reaction was available from the ED.

Atishi, who is a cabinet minister in the Delhi government, said, "Actually it is the BJP and not the ED that wants to know what is there on Kejriwal's phone".

The excise policy was implemented in 2021-22 and the chief minister's current phone is just a few months old, Atishi claimed.

The ED has said that Kejriwal's phone from that period is not available, and now, it wants the password of his new phone, Atishi said.

"They want it because they will find in it details of AAP's Lok Sabha poll strategy, campaign plans, talks with INDIA bloc leaders and information regarding media and social media strategy," she said.

The ED counsel said in the court that custody of Kejriwal was required for a few more days because he has not disclosed the password of his phone, Atishi said.

She charged that the BJP wanted to know AAP's strategy for contesting the parliamentary elections in Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, and Assam where the party has fielded its candidates on a total of 22 seats, she said.

The Excise Policy 2021-22 was formulated and implemented between November 2021 and August 2022. “So I want to ask the ED why they want to examine a phone that is only a few months old when they know that it is not the phone used during the policy period?” she questioned.

She claimed that the AAP national convener was arrested for hindering and sabotaging the party's Lok Sabha election contest.

The Delhi BJP chief said both Kejriwal and Sisodia "admitted to having changed several phones".

"Kejriwal and former deputy CM Manish Sisodia changed their phones frequently, AAP leaders must reveal the reason behind this," Sachdeva said.

Sisodia is lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail after being arrested in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

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