Why Manish Sisodia’s arrest is a major political blow to the Kejriwal government?

Although many politicians have been arrested under corruption charges, Manish Sisodia's arrest pose a big challenge to Arvind Kejriwal's AAP.

A Delhi court ruled on Saturday, March 4th, that Manish Sisodia's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody be extended till Monday, March 6th, Bar and Bench reported. Sisodia, the former deputy chief minister of Delhi, filed a bail plea on Friday, March 3rd. The court will hear his bail plea on March 10th. During the proceedings, Sisodia alleged mental harassment by the CBI. On the other hand, allegedly citing non-cooperation from Sisodia, the CBI requested his custody for three more days. CBI arrested Sisodia on February 26th for his alleged involvement in the Delhi excise policy (now-scrapped) scam. After the arrest, Sisodia approached the Supreme Court but the apex court told him to move to the Delhi High Court first.

There have been arrests of political leaders in corruption charges in the past, but the political drama played out in the case of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s arrest is unprecedented.

Not just Sisodia’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cadre but almost all of the Opposition is united in its condemnation of Sisodia’s arrest accusing the India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the federal investigation agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and others for vendetta politics.

Sisodia’s arrest couldn’t have been worse for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP. Delhi Assembly’s budget session will take place in a few days, and Sisodia — whose portfolio recently expanded and now consists of 18 departments — is a key aide of Kejriwal.

Sisodia is not just the face of the present Delhi government’s education policy, but he is also one of the chief engineers of AAP’s political expansion plans. Ironically, Sisodia’s importance in the party had heightened after his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain was arrested on allegations of money laundering in May last year.

Jain has been lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail for nine months in a case of money laundering being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Over these months, key departments like home, health, power handled by him have been taken over by Sisodia.

Meanwhile, this is not the only CBI probe Sisodia’s name has figured in. Recently, he was accused of creating a ‘feedback unit’ to collect political intelligence against AAP’s rivals. The Union government’s home ministry sanctioned Sisodia’s prosecution in this case last week.

As the political drama unfolds around Sisodia’s arrest, it’s to be seen whether this incident can bring together the warring factions of the Opposition, who have been alleging that the BJP is resorting to vendetta politics using the CBI, ED and other organisations.

Leave a comment
scroll to top