The letter says Sisodia’s arrest will be cited globally as an example of a “political witch hunt” and “further confirms what the world suspected: that India’s democratic values are under threat under an authoritarian BJP regime.” . Sources in Hyderabad said the proposal for a joint missive to PM Modi was made by KCR, whose daughter and MLC K Kavitha was named in the ED’s charge sheet in the Delhi liquor policy case.
KCR ‘man behind common oppn letter’ on Sisodia
After sending a joint protest letter signed by eight parties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Deputy Chief Minister Delhi Manish SisodiaAfter the arrest, the AAP criticized Congress for not supporting it on this issue. AAP chief spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “If you look at history, you will find that Congress has never supported the opposition. Whenever it comes to raising its voice on national issues, Congress disappears. They too they disappeared today.”
“The whole world knows Sisodia has been arrested. Congress, which sees itself as the big brother and says it will lead if an opposition alliance is formed, should have reached out to the opposition parties,” he said. “Where is Congress, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi?”
Meanwhile, Congress said no one approached the party about being a signatory. While Congress has supported a joint opposition, the party leadership continues to argue that genuine secular anti-BJP parties need to be identified and that it cannot be a haphazard collection of groups that “play both sides”. Congress has also officially remained silent on Sisodia’s arrest in the liquor police case. Senior party official Ajay Maken recently told colleagues that there should be no sympathy for AAP as he allegedly made money illegally from liquor trading in the capital and has also used it against Congress in state elections like Goa and Punjab.
Telangana CM and BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, who was the man behind the joint letter according to sources, was also one of the PM’s harshest critics and a key player in trying to assemble a national anti-BJP front .
The other signatories to the letter are Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena, UBT), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
What makes Manish Sisodia so important?
The letter said the reasons given for Sisodia’s arrest by the CBI were “definitely baseless and smacked of political conspiracy”. “The misuse of central agencies and constitutional offices such as that of the governor to settle scores outside the electoral battlefield is strongly condemnable, as it does not bode well for our democracy.”
The letter mentions that the maximum number of politicians blocked, arrested, searched or interrogated by central agencies under the BJP government since 2014 belong to the opposition. “Interestingly, investigative agencies are slow in cases against politicians of opposition parties who join the BJP,” he argues.
Sharing a long list of names of opposition members who have been under scrutiny, the letter said that “the way senior members of the opposition have been targeted lends credence to the charge that your government is using investigative agencies to target or eliminate the opposition”.
Excise Duty Policy Case: Timeline of Events Leading to the Arrest of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia of Delhi