‘Kejriwal being treated like terrorist’, says Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann after meeting Delhi counterpart in Tihar jail : The Tribune India

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‘Kejriwal being treated like terrorist’, says Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann after meeting Delhi counterpart in Tihar jail

From next week, Kejrwial will call 2 ministers for meeting and discuss issues, says AAP MP Sandeep Pathak

‘Kejriwal being treated like terrorist’, says Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann after meeting Delhi counterpart in Tihar jail

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann leaves after meeting jailed Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at Tihar Jail, in New Delhi, on Monday, April 15, 2024. PTI



PTI

New Delhi, April 15

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann met Arvind Kejriwal in Tihar jail Monday and alleged he was being treated like a terrorist, even as AAP said its government in Delhi will start functioning from jail under a “proper format” with chief minister Kejriwal planning to meet two minister from next week.

Mann, who was accompanied by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak, said they met Kejriwal for half-an-hour but they were separated by a glass wall and had to interact over a phone call. He said Kejriwal asked him to campaign for INDIA bloc candidates in different parts of the country.

Pathak said Chief Minister Kejriwal will start meeting two ministers in the jail from next week and review their works. “We will undertake whatever legal process are needed (to make this happen),” he said.

“From next week, when the ministers meet, the government will start functioning from jail in a proper format,” he said.

The BJP has been demanding Kejriwal’s resignation since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in an excise policy-related money laundering case. The Aam Aadmi Party and its ministers have, however, maintained that Kejriwal will continue to run the government from jail.

The Punjab Chief Minister told reporters after their meeting that he got emotional when he saw his party’s chief.

“It is very sad to see that Arvind Kejriwal is not even getting the facilities that a hardcore criminal gets. What is his crime? That he built schools, hospitals, mohalla clinics and gave free electricity to the public? You are treating him as if you have arrested a big terrorist of the country.

“When (Congress leaders) P Chidambaram was in jail, Sonia Gandhi used to meet him in-person but today we were separated by a glass wall. What does Modiji want? This will cost them. Kejriwal, who is a ‘kattar imandar’ and who started a politics of transparency, is being treated like this,” he said.

Former finance minister Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 for alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media to receive overseas funds.

The Punjab chief minister said that Kejriwal has asked him to visit different places for campaigning for INDIA bloc candidates.

The Aam Aadmi Party will emerge a strong political force on June 4 when Lok Sabha election results are announced, he said. “Kejriwal was worried about the country. If the Constitution survives, the party will also survive.”              

Pathak said Kejriwal was concerned about the people of Delhi and was constantly enquiring whether they were getting subsidies.

“Even while being inside jail, he is worried about the people of Delhi. He said that from next week, he will call two ministers to discuss issues. He has also asked party MLAs to go out among people,” Pathak said.

Later, addressing a press conference, Pathak said Mann was crying after seeing Kejriwal and was choked for a few minutes.

“When we asked Kejriwal about his health, he said, ‘I am ready for the struggle. Do not worry about me. First tell me what is the public saying? Is the electricity subsidy continuing and are there any power cuts? Are free medicines available in government hospitals?’ He asked us everything and was only satisfied after we told him everything about the people of Delhi,” he added.

The MP said that during his meetings with two ministers from next week, Kejriwal will review the works being done by their departments.

“He will issue them guidelines and directions. He has also asked party MLAs to meet people in their constituencies over their issues and stay 24 hours among the public. He asked MLAs to put in twice the effort that they were putting in earlier,” Pathak said.

He said the Chief Minister also enquired about the Delhi Government’s Mukhyamantri Mahila Samman Yojana for 2024-25 under which eligible women will get Rs 1,000 every month.

“He said that nobody should be worried and assured that the scheme will be implemented as soon as he comes out of jail. There was no sign of worry on his face. He assured that wherever he stays he will continue to struggle,” he added.

The meeting took place in the ‘mulakat jangla,’ a room divided with a glass wall, a Tihar jail official said.

Security was already heightened with local police being deployed outside Tihar jail, given that Mann is Z+ protectee.

The Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21.

The ED has accused Kejriwal of being involved in the “entire conspiracy of Delhi liquor scam, in drafting and implementation of the policy, for favouring and benefiting the quid pro receiving kickbacks and eventually using part of proceeds of crime generated out of the scheduled offence in the election campaign for Goa Assembly elections”. 

#Arvind Kejriwal #Bhagwant Mann


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