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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 exposed as a liar: BJP leader

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, VOA
  • Arvind Kejriwal apologised to Bikram Singh Majithia
  • BJP leader says that this apology established himself
  • BJP also alleged that Kejriwal did nothing while state aced so many problems

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging that he was involved in the drug trade, the BJP Delhi unit on Friday said he has exposed himself as a “liar”.

The BJP also alleged that he was doing nothing even while the people of the national capital were facing a number of issues due to sealing.

Arvind Kejriwal apologized to Bikram Singh Majithia. IANS

Addressing a press conference here, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit President Manoj Tiwari said: ” What we have been saying for long has been proved today. He is a liar. He has apologised to Majithia for making false allegations against him.”

“He is on his way to apologise to (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley ji and (Union Transport Minister) Nitin Gadkari ji for making false allegations,” the BJP leader said. Kejriwal is facing defamation cases in court for levelling allegations against Jaitley and Gadkari.

Also Read: BJP Protests Outside Sisodia’s Residence, Demands Kejriwal’s Resignation

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief on Thursday apologised to the Shiromani Akali Dal leader in Punjab for making allegations of involvement in the drug trade, following which the latter said that he will withdraw a defamation suit filed in an Amristar court.

Tiwari, who represents the northeast Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha, accused Kejriwal of misleading the people over the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital.

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta accused the AAP chief of only rendering “lip service” on the sealing drive and urged the Chief Minister to hold an all-party meeting with the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring committee overseeing the drive.

“Since December last, Kejriwal is only doing lip service on the issue of sealing drive. He has done nothing to stop it,” Gupta, the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said.

He said that though Lt Governor Anil Baijal cleared the file for notifying 351 roads in the capital on February 8, the matter is still pending. “Why hasn’t he (Kejriwal) notified the 351 roads in the last 45 days?” Gupta asked.

BJP leaders are calling this apology a gimmick.

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology. Gupta warned the Monitoring Committee members not to act outside the law and said: “If the monitoring committee acts against law, then the BJP will oppose it.”

“We are going to inform the three municipal corporations of Delhi not to follow the commands of the Monitoring Committee if it goes against the law,” he said. “The MCDs should approach the court and also make Kejriwal a party,” the BJP leader added. IANS