Developmental works won't stop even if I am jailed: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
"The BJP wants us to join their party but we will not bow down," the chief minister said, while Delhi Police served notice to AAP leader Atishi
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday, 4 February, said the ongoing developmental works of his government for the people would not stop even if he was sent to jail.
Laying the foundation stone of two school buildings in Kirari, Kejriwal insinuated that political rivals targeted anyone successfully making a difference in governance: "Manish Sisodia was put in jail because he built schools. Satyendar Jain was sent to jail because he built Mohalla clinics."
Kejriwal alleged that central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation had similarly been unleashed on the AAP leaders—and that they were under pressure to switch allegiance: "But even if you put Kejriwal in jail, the (ongoing) works of building schools and mohalla clinics and providing free treatment to the people of Delhi will not stop. The BJP wants us to join their party but we will not bow down," he said.
Kejriwal has himself been asked to join the Delhi Police probe into his allegations that the BJP attempted to "poach" AAP MLAs; so has AAP leader Atishi. Kejriwal is also facing summons from the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy-linked money laundering case.
Reacting on the interim budget presented by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on 1 February, Kejriwal said it allocated only 4 per cent of the total budget for schools and hospitals, while the Delhi government has been spending 40 per cent of its funds on education and health.
The Delhi chief minister was addressing the gathering at a foundation stone laying ceremony of two government schools in north-west Delhi's Kirari village.
"The central government recently presented the Union budget. It will spend only 4 per cent of the total budget on health and education. However, the Delhi government has been spending around 40 per cent of its total budget on health and education for the past eight years," he said.
The Centre has unleashed agencies like CBI and ED on AAP leaders to step them from working for the betterment of people, he alleged. However, he said, the prayers of Delhi residents have kept the AAP going.
Two new schools will come up in Sector 41 in Rohini to benefit the children of the densely populated areas in and around Kirari village, an official statement said.
The foundation stone laying ceremony was also attended by education minister Atishi.
"In the last nine years, the government schools in Delhi have transformed because of the education revolution started by Chief Minister Kejriwal," she said. "Today, the government schools in Delhi produce excellent results and have become better than private schools in the city," she said, echoing the chief minister's address.
The schools are to come up on two separate plots, with more than 100 classrooms. One of the schools will have a fully air-conditioned multi-purpose hall with a 300-seat capacity, it said.
The schools will be equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries, offices, staff rooms, activity rooms and toilet blocks on every floor, and a lift, the statement said.
Meanwhile, this afternoon (4 February), a team of the Delhi Police Crime Branch visited Delhi minister Atishi’s residence and served her a notice in connection with allegations that the BJP was attempting to "poach" Aam Aadmi Party MLAs.
Sources said that the Delhi minister’s staff received the notice after the Crime Branch team visited her residence for the second time this afternoon.
According to the notice, the Crime Branch has asked both Kejriwal and Atishi to furnish information on the allegations of poaching levelled against the BJP, since statements by them suggest they were “privy to certain information regarding commission of a cognisable offence”. They have been asked to respond to the notice by 5 February.
The Crime Branch served a notice to Kejriwal, asking him to reply within three days, in a probe into his claims that the BJP had attempted to poach seven AAP MLAs.
Responding to the notice to Atishi, AAP leader Jasmine Shah said the notice did not include anything about a summons or an FIR or anything to do with any section under the IPC or CrPC. “This is just a letter on a white paper,” Shah said.
“(Crime Branch officials) wanted to give it only to her personally and not to her officials. Should the Delhi ministers always stay at their homes to personally receive each and every delivery?” Shah said, adding that police officers had waited five hours before finally giving the notice to an official from the CMO.
On 27 January, Kejriwal and Atishi had both claimed the BJP was trying to poach AAP MLAs by offering Rs 25 crore each and a ticket to contest next year's assembly poll to topple the AAP government.
The BJP had rubbished the allegations, terming them "false" and "baseless", and dared the chief minister to furnish evidence to back his claims.
Police have approached senior AAP leaders seeking assistance with the names of the MLAs who were approached by the BJP.
According to the notice seen by PTI: 'An enquiry is being conducted by Crime Branch, Delhi Police, on a complaint received in respect of the allegations made by you that BJP has offered Rs 25 crore each to sitting MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party for leaving AAP and to join the BJP. These allegations were posted by you on X (formerly Twitter) on January 27.'
'The plain reading of the said tweet indicates that you are privy to certain information regarding commission of a cognizable offence. Therefore, you are hereby requested to provide answers to the questionnaire enclosed herewith by February 5.
'Any additional/supplementary information that you may wish to share or which may be deemed by you to be of any assistance for the enquiry, may either be tendered in writing or can be got recorded by the undersigned on the date and venue mentioned above.'
Based on PTI inputs