BJP using ED, CBI to break us: AAP after Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand quits

Anand said one of the reasons for his resignation was that there was no Dalit among the AAP's senior leaders

Raaj Kumar Anand announces his resignation (photo: PTI)
Raaj Kumar Anand announces his resignation (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday claimed that the resignation of Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand vindicates its stand that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest was aimed at finishing the party.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP was using the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to "break our ministers and MLAs". It is agnipariksha (trial by fire) of AAP ministers and MLAs".

Earlier on Wednesday, Anand had resigned from the cabinet and quit the party, alleging that it had failed to give adequate representation to Dalits. At a separate press conference, Anand, who was holding various portfolios including social welfare, alleged that there was no Dalit among senior AAP leaders.

"This party doesn't respect Dalit MLAs, councillors and ministers. In such circumstances, all Dalits feel cheated. We live in an inclusive society, but it is not wrong to talk about proportion. It is difficult for me to remain in the party with all these things, hence I am resigning from the post," Anand said.

He also took a swipe at Kejriwal, who is in Tihar Jail after being remanded in judicial custody in an excise policy-linked money laundering case, and has failed to get any relief from Delhi High Court.

In response to a query on the timing of his resignation, Anand said, "It is not about timing. Until yesterday, we were under the impression that we were being framed, but after the high court verdict, it seems there is something wrong at our end."

In November 2023, the ED had conducted a 22-hour raid at Anand's residence with regard to a customs case. At the time, he had said. "They came to harass us. Searched the entire house and found nothing." He had also said speaking the truth, the politics of Dalits, and the politics of work have become a crime in this country. "The customs case that the ED is talking about is 20 years old, and even the Supreme Court has decided on it," he said.

The ED had in turn alleged that evidence relating to unaccounted business investments and hawala payments sent to China in 2023 was gathered from a few of Anand's employees.

Apart from this, the agency had claimed to recover Rs 74 lakh in cash along with various incriminating documents and digital records in the case, in which the agency initiated an investigation on the basis of a prosecution complaint filed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence against Anand and other persons for offences under the Customs Act.

"From Jantar Mantar, Arvind Kejriwal had said the country would change once its politics changed. The politics hasn't changed but the politician has changed," Anand, the MLA from Patel Nagar, said after his resignatoin.

Delhi High Court on Tuesday upheld Kejriwal's arrest and subsequent remand, saying the ED was left with "little option" after he skipped repeated summonses and refused to join the investigation. It also cited the ED's claim that Kejriwal had conspired and was actively involved in the use and concealment of the proceeds of crime to reject his petition against his arrest.

With inputs from agencies

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