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June 21, 2024 4:43 am

Won’t resign because it will set precedent, give BJP free hand to target opposition CMs: Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, May 23

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said he won’t resign because it will set a precedent and give the BJP-led Central government a free hand to target opposition chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee and MK Stalin. And this, he said, is dangerous for democracy.

In an interview to PTI Videos on Wednesday, Kejriwal, who will have to go back to Tihar Jail after his interim bail ends on June 1, said he will approach the court to allow him to fulfil his duties as chief minister of Delhi from prison.

The AAP national convener was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with a money-laundering case related to his government’s liquor excise policy. The BJP has been demanding his resignation since he has been arrested by the probe agency.

Kejriwal and his party have accused the BJP government of framing him, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and other leaders in “fake cases”.

“I worked in the slums of Delhi after resigning from the post of income tax commissioner. Nobody had asked for my resignation when I stepped down within 49 days (in 2013) after becoming the chief minister of Delhi. In a way, I kicked the chair of the chief minister while nobody gives up even a peon’s job,” he said.

“I did not resign as chief minister deliberately this time as it is part of my struggle.”

Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party got 67 assembly seats (in 2015) and 62 seats (in 2020), and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hatched a conspiracy to arrest him because he saw AAP cannot be defeated in elections in Delhi.

“He got me arrested so that I would resign and my government would topple. But I will not let his conspiracy succeed. This whole case (excise policy scam case) is completely a fake case.

“Had I done anything wrong and got money, I would be very weak from inside and maybe I would go to the BJP and all my sins would be forgiven,” he said.

He asserted that he had been forcibly kept in jail.

“If I resign, it will set such a precedent that they will arrest West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee someday and ask her to resign…they will also arrest Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin and ask him to resign.

“So wherever the BJP loses elections, the chief ministers of opposition-ruled states will be arrested,” Kejriwal said, adding that their governments would then be toppled, which is very dangerous for democracy.

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