New Delhi, October 18
A major war of words erupted after CBI questioned Manish Sisodia in the excise policy case for nine hours here on Monday with the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister claiming he was asked to leave AAP and the case against him was to make “Operation Lotus successful”.
The BJP hit back alleging that it was “Operation Non-cooperation” and “Jashn-e-Bhrashtachar” from Sisodia and other AAP leaders and “they are trying to convert vice into victory”.
The CBI also issued a statement refuting Sisodia’s allegations made to the media and asserted that he was examined strictly on the allegations in the FIR and the evidence collected so far during the course of the investigation.
Talking to media persons after his questioning, Sisodia alleged that the whole case against him is fake and they said “they’ll make me Chief Minister”.
“Today I saw in the CBI office that there’s no issue of any scam (excise policy case). The whole case is fake. I understood all that in the nine hour-questioning today. The case isn’t to probe any scam against me, but to make Operation Lotus successful in Delhi,” Sisodia said.
“I was asked inside the CBI office to leave (AAP), or else such cases will keep getting registered against me. I was told ‘Satyendar Jain ke upar konse sachhe cases hain?’…I said I won’t leave AAP for BJP. They said they’ll make me CM,” he alleged.
Sisodia said he had come to politics to serve the field of education and not to become chief minister and seeing a child of a rickshaw puller or a maid become a doctor or an engineer gives him real satisfaction.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra hit out at Sisodia accusing him of corruption.
“Have you ever heard any corrupt person come out of interrogation and say that he is corrupt and has committed a crime? He says all this (what Sisodia spoke). This operation is Operation Non-cooperation,” Patra said.
The BJP leader said no one knows what questions were asked as CBI is an independent agency.
“But according to common sense, what would have been asked? He would have been asked why the excise policy was taken back, why there was a loss to Delhi’s exchequer due to the policy and what was the amount, why such a policy was made for which there was no cabinet approval and Rs 144 crore of friendly contractors was exempted. He would have been asked why a blacklisted company was given contract going against the law. It would have been asked why manufacturers were established in retail business against the law.”
“We don’t know what would have been asked but all this would have been asked. Where did the big amount go, this would have been asked,” Patra said.
“The operation he is talking about.. somewhere AAP, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia are seeking an opportunity of politics in the crisis of corruption. This is Jashn-e-Bhrashtachar and they are trying to convert vice into victory,” he said.
In its statement, CBI said Sisodia was examined by it in connection with the ongoing investigation in Delhi Excise Policy case.
“He was examined strictly on the allegations in the FIR and the evidence collected so far during the course of the investigation. His statement will be verified in due course and further action taken as per requirements of the investigation,” the probe agency said.
It said some sections of the media have aired a video in which, after leaving the CBI office, Manish Sisodia has stated on camera that during his questioning in CBI, he was threatened to leave his political party and similar such insinuations.
“CBI strongly refutes these allegations and reiterates that the examination of Sisodia was carried out in a professional and legal manner strictly as per the allegations against him in the FIR. The investigation of the case will continue as per law,” the statement said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had in August named Sisodia as an accused in the first information report (FIR) registered over alleged irregularities in the Delhi liquor policy.