Monday November 19, 2018
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Delhi’s Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar resigns, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says Emergency-like situation

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New Delhi: A bitter battle between the central and AAP governments worsened on Tuesday as police arrested Delhi’s Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar amid high drama and secured a four-day police custody over his alleged fake degree. The AAP denounced the arrest as vendetta.

The minister late Tuesday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying he did not want the image of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the government to be tarnished.

Earlier Tuesday, Metropolitan Magistrate Navjeet Budhiraja sent Tomar to police remand after police argued that the AAP leader was an influential man who could fabricate documents if he remained free.

Police slapped cases of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery after picking up Tomar from his office early in the morning and then dramatically taking him into custody.

There was no comment from Kejriwal. But a livid Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the arrest illegal and said that an “Emergency-like situation” was being imposed on the capital by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

Delhi Police reports to the Lt. Governor and the union home ministry, and not the AAP government.

Delhi Police rejected charges of wrongdoing. Its chief B.S. Bassi maintained that the arrest was “within the parameters of law”. He said: “There is no conspiracy behind the arrest.”

The AAP, which took power in Delhi in February, accused police of roughing up Tomar. Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he wasn’t informed about the arrest.

Sisodia said vested interests were ganging up against the AAP government because of its anti-corruption campaign.

He said about 40 policemen swooped on Tomar’s office and took him away as if he was a fugitive.

“Police told Tomar that they had come to see some documents… They asked him to accompany them to his house. On the way they told his driver to get off, took charge of the vehicle and told him that he was being detained,” said Sisodia, adding Tomar was told “that he could ask someone to bring the documents to the police station”.

“What is going on?” he asked. “Was he (Tomar) running away? Did he explode bombs in Delhi? There is an allegation (against him). The matter is in court. What was the need to arrest him?”

Sisodia added: “This arrest is illegal. There is an Emergency-like situation. This is supposed to be a democracy… Maybe it is an attempt to teach the AAP a lesson (for what we are doing).”

The arrest triggered protests by AAP supporters at the Hauz Khas police station in south Delhi where Tomar was initially taken. He was later moved to Vasant Vihar where AAP leaders Ashutosh and Kumar Vishwas staged a protest.

Tuesday’s arrest peaked a simmering row between the central and AAP governments over the powers of the Delhi government over the posting and transfer of senior officials. This too is now facing judicial scrutiny.

The arrest also coincided with an ugly turf war between the central and state governments over the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi government.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh asked: “If the case relates to a fake degree, will ministers Smriti Irani and Ram Shanker Katheria (of BJP) will also be taken to police station without any prior notice?”

Tomar told CNN-IBN that he didn’t know why he was arrested, adding it had been done to tarnish the AAP’s image.

Two cases are pending against Tomar in the Delhi High Court, alleging he enrolled himself as an advocate on the basis of a fake law degree and seeking cancellation of his election. Tomar says his degree is genuine.

“The case was very clear from the first day but Kejriwal turned a blind eye and let him (Tomar) continue as a minister,” Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said.

“This is the first time a minister has been arrested,” added Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken.

But the CPI-M denounced the arrest as shocking, and said it was a clear case of vendetta politics. It asked Lt. Governor Jung to resign. (IANS)

 

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

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Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.