Kerala, Tamil Nadu CMs condemn Kejriwal’s arrest in Delhi liquor policy case

Warning the BJP of people’s wrath, MK Stalin said the relentless persecution of opposition leaders by the BJP government smacks of a desperate witch-hunt.
MK Stalin and Pinarayi Vijayan
MK Stalin and Pinarayi Vijayan
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with liquor policy case has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum. A team of ED officials reached Kejriwal’s residence on the evening of Thursday, March 21, to question the Delhi CM in the liquor case and arrested him. There was heavy police deployment around the Chief Minister's residence. Kejriwal had skipped the ED’s ninth summons in the case.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, March 21 questioned the timing of the arrest. “This has come at a time when the process for the general elections has commenced. To jail all those who speak up is in no way acceptable. The cowardice of those who are scared of democratic norms have now come out through this act, which is extremely condemnable and warrants protests,” he added.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin stated that it was only the opposition that had been facing scrutiny or arrest. He said that the arrests were futile and it will lead to the INDIA bloc’s victory in the Lok Sabha Elections. “Ahead of #Elections2024, driven by fear of a decade of failures and the imminent defeat, the fascist BJP government sinks to despicable depths by arresting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal following the unjust targeting of brother Hemant Soren. The relentless persecution of opposition leaders by the BJP government smacks of a desperate witch-hunt. BJP, brace for the people's wrath," he added.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “A scared dictator wants to create a dead democracy. While capturing all the institutions including the media, breaking up the parties, extorting money from companies, freezing the account of the main opposition party was not enough for the 'devilish power', now the arrest of the elected Chief Ministers has also become a common thing. INDIA will give a befitting reply to this.”

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitharam Yechury said the Narendra Modi-led BJP was fearing people’s rejection in the upcoming elections. “Strongly condemn the arrest of Delhi CM, Shri Arvind Kejriwal by the ED. It’s the second sitting CM of the INDIA bloc to be arrested. Clearly, Modi and the BJP are in panic over people’s rejection in the ongoing elections. All opposition leaders who defected and joined the BJP are protected and patronised. They are the ‘Satya Harishchandras’. These arrests will only cement people’s desire to defeat BJP, defend democracy and Indian Constitution,” he added.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) Working President KT Rama Rao said that the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation have become the chief instruments of repression in the hands of the BJP. “Political opponents are targeted on unsubstantiated grounds & political vendetta is their sole purpose," he stated. BRS MLC K Kavitha, daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the same case on March 15 after ED raids in Hyderabad.

(With inputs from IANS)

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