The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested AAP leader and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on money laundering charges in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy, official sources said. The 51-year-old was placed under arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) following his second round of questioning at the Tihar jail, they said.
The arrest of the AAP politician, a former journalist, by the federal probe agency comes a day before his bail plea will come up for hearing on March 10 before a CBI court. However, his judicial custody is till March 20.
The ED alleged that Sisodia was “evasive” in his replies and was “not cooperating in the probe” and hence was arrested.
Sisodia is currently lodged in judicial custody after the CBI arrested him on February 26 in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi liquor or excise policy for 2021-22.
The first round of Sisodia’s questioning by the ED took place on March 7 by a three-member team that obtained court’s permission to question Sisodia during his judicial custody period.
If the ED gets his custody, he will be taken to the agency’s headquarters in central Delhi for questioning and further recording of his statement and confrontation with other accused, even if he gets bail in the CBI case on Friday.
‘Politics of education against politics of jail’: Sisodia
Jailed former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday wrote a letter from inside Tihar Jail, saying “jail politics has the upper hand in today’s politics but tomorrow’s politics will hover around education”.
“Today, the politics of jail seems to be successful, but the future of India’s politics lies in education. Education is also in politics. India will become the Vishwaguru not because of how much strength the jails have, but because of the power of education in the country. In today’s politics of India, the politics of jail has a heavy upper hand, but the coming days will be the education of politics,” Sisodia wrote in the letter “addressed to the countrymen”.
Kejriwal says ‘people will answer’ on ED arrest
After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with the 2021-22 Delhi excise policy case, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that people are watching everything and they will give a befitting reply.
Kejriwal said in a tweet that the Centre’s only intention to keep Sisodia behind the bars in any case.
“Manish was first arrested by the CBI. The CBI did not find any evidence, no money was found in the raids. There is a bail hearing tomorrow. Manish would have been released tomorrow. So today ED arrested him. They have only one intention to keep Manish inside at any cost, creating new fake cases everyday. The public is watching and will answer,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.
‘You reap what you sow’: Delhi BJP
Delhi BJP Working President Virendra Sachdeva has said that the arrest of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by the Enforcement Directorate brings true the old saying: “you reap what you sow.”
“Manish Sisodia has been a part of a big chain of financial beneficiaries in the Delhi liquor scam. Legal media reports had always suggested that the day inquiry of Telangana Chief Minister’s daughter K. Kavita gets started, Manish Sisodia, too, will land up in ED custody,” Sachdeva added.