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"My Life Dedicated To Nation": Arvind Kejriwal's First Reaction After Arrest

2024-03-22 10:15:45

The agency has sought 10-day custody of the AAP chief.

New Delhi:

In his first reaction a day after his arrest, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that his life is dedicated to the nation.

Responding to a question by reporters when he was being taken to court by the Enforcement Directorate, the AAP chief said in Hindi, “My life is dedicated to the country. I will keep serving the nation even if I am behind bars.”

Mr Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate around 9 pm on Thursday, becoming the first serving chief minister to face such an action. His arrest has come in a money-laundering case related to the scrapped Delhi liquor policy of 2021-22 and the probe agency has alleged that he and his party had received kickbacks in exchange for favours. 

The AAP has claimed there was a conspiracy behind his arrest and the party has organised nationwide protests against it. 

‘Key Conspirator’

After spending a night in ED custody, Mr Kejriwal was produced before the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi on Friday. Seeking 10-day custody of the chief minister, the financial crime fighting agency has alleged that he was the “kingpin” and a key conspirator in the scam. 

The total proceeds of the crime, according to the ED, are Rs 600 crore. It has claimed that the Delhi liquor policy provided an exceptionally high profit margin of 12% for wholesalers and nearly 185% for retailers. Of the 12%, six was to be recovered from wholesalers as kickbacks for AAP leaders and a lobby called the South Group allegedly gave Rs 100 crore in advance to another accused in the case, Vijay Nair, who was linked to the ruling party in Delhi.

BRS leader K Kavitha, who was arrested by the ED in the case last week, is alleged to have been a member of the South Group.

“He (Mr Kejriwal) was directly involved in implementation of the policy, and giving favour to the South Group. He demanded kickbacks in exchange for favours… this is corroborated by statements. He is involved in the use of proceeds of crime,” Additional Solicitor-General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, told the court on Friday.

Appearing for the chief minister, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there was no need to arrest him and that the agency’s claimed money trail could, at best, be grounds for questioning.

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