Don’t try to intimidate us: AAP hits back at Jaitley on defamation suit

(File Photo)

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday hit back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hours after the BJP leader filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other top party leaders for levelling “baseless” allegations of corruption in DDCA, warning him that they “are here to eradicate corruption, don’t try to intimidate us.”

This comes hours after Kejriwal said that the Delhi government had resolved to set up a commission of inquiry into the alleged DDCA scam.

Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore damages from the AAP leaders – who have demanded the Finance Minister’s resignation – for making “false” statements against him over alleged irregularities in the DDCA which he headed for 13 years till 2013.

“It is unfortunate for the country that the people who should be doing government work are coming to register a case. Arun Jaitley did not need to take money from DDCA as he was getting money from the back door. Jaitley still hasn’t replied to my five charges. We are people who are here to eradicate corruption, don’t try to intimidate us,” AAP leader and former journalist Ashutosh said.

Another party leader Sanjay Singh slammed the cabinet ministers for rushing to court “to defend corrupt Arun Jaitley”.

Today many cabinet ministers left government work to go to court to defend corrupt Arun Jaitley. He can fight by any means. We won’t stop exposing the corruption that has been going on for 15 years. They cannot scare us. Kirti Azad has been raising his voice against Jaitley for 8 years, but that voice has always been suppressed. We are setting up a commission of inquiry under Gopal Subramanium,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

Jaitley – flanked by top ministers like Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal – went to the Patiala House Court where he filed the suit. Jaitley told the court that he did not take a “single penny” from the cricket body.

The court took cognizance of the FM’s complaint and scheduled the next hearing in the case for January 5.

This comes as BJP MP Kirti Azad – who has alleged massive financial irregularities in Delhi’s cricket board – called for a CBI inquiry in the scam in the Lok Sabha and also dared Jaitley to sue him.

Defending Jaitley, Union Miniter Nirmala Sitharaman said outside the court, “The charges are baseless. We will fight this in the Courts and discuss it in Parliament also.”

Union Minister JP Nadda said that the BJP leaders were present at the court “to support Jaitley, who has had a clean life and has helped the poor.”

Kejriwal has demanded Jaitley must resign or be removed from his post as union finance minister to enable an independent probe into DDCA matters. The city government has reportedly ordered a probe into the DDCA’s working.

Jaitley made a statement in the Lok Sabha amid protests by Congress MPs on Monday, saying that “All these allegations of corruption in DDCA are baseless and devoid of truth.”

The Finance Minister told the House that under his leadership in just Rs 114 crore, a stadium of 42,000 capacity was made. However, when Congress was in power, the 14,000 capacity Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) stadium was renovated for around Rs 900 crore, he claimed.

As Jaitley was making the statement, the Congress MPs continued to raise slogans and disrupting him.

An exasperated Jaitley apparently screamed at the Congress lawmakers asking them to “sit down”.

“Please sit down. Facts will be extremely inconvenient,” he said.

Taking a dig at Jaitley, Kiriti Azad said in Lok Sabha, “Yes the stadium was made in 114 crore, but we know what the condition of the stadium is right now.”

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm following the uproar over DDCA scam.

Addressing the media on Sunday with former player Bishan Singh Bedi, Azad sought an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into the working of the DDCA. (With inputs from agencies; image: