The letter states that Sisodia’s arrest will be cited globally as an example of “political witch hunt” and “further confirm what the world was suspecting – that India’s democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP regime”. Sources in Hyderabad said the proposal for a joint missive to PM Modi was mooted by KCR, whose daughter and MLC K Kavitha has been named in the ED’s chargesheet in the Delhi liquor policy case.
KCR ‘man behind joint oppn letter’ on Sisodia
After sending a joint protest letter signed by eight parties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia‘s arrest, AAP slammed Congress for not standing by it on this issue. AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “If you look at the history, you will find Congress has never stood by the opposition. Whenever it comes to raising voice on national issues, Congress goes missing. They have gone missing today as well.”
“The entire world knows that Sisodia has been arrested. Congress, which considers itself the big brother and says it will lead if any 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 claimed nobody approached the party to be one of the signatories. While Congress has been advocating a joint opposition, the party leadership continues to argue that there is a need to identify genuine secular anti-BJP parties, and that it cannot be a random collection of groups “playing both sides”. Congress has also officially kept mum on Sisodia’s arrest in the liquor police case. Senior party functionary Ajay Maken recently told colleagues that there should be no sympathy for AAP as it had allegedly made money illegally from the liquor trade in the capital and also used it against Congress in state elections like Goa and Punjab.
Telangana CM and BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, who sources said was the man behind the joint letter, has also been one of the sharpest critics of the Prime Minister and a key player in the bid to cobble together an anti-BJP national 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 claims that the reasons given for Sisodia’s arrest by the CBI were “outright baseless and smack of a political conspiracy”. “The misuse of central agencies and constitutional offices like that of the governor to settle scores outside of the electoral battlefield is strongly condemnable, as it does not bode well for our democracy.”
The letter mentions that the maximum number of politicians booked, arrested, raided or interrogated by central agencies under BJP’s governance since 2014 belong to the opposition. “Interestingly, the investigation agencies go slow on cases against politicians from the opposition parties who join BJP,” it alleges.
Sharing a long list of names of opposition members who have been under the scanner, the letter states that “the manner in which prominent members of the opposition have been targeted lends credence to the allegation that your government is using investigating agencies to target or eliminate the opposition”.
Excise Policy Case: Timeline of events that led to arrest of Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia