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Kejriwal Back in Tihar Jail

Kejriwal Back in Tihar Jail

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NEW DELHI, June 2: With the Lok Sabha elections over and his 21-day interim bail not extended, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday surrendered at Tihar Jail as per the order of the Supreme Court.

Mr Kejriwal was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections on May 10 following his arrest in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy scam case. After his surrender, his judicial custody was extended till June 5.

Delhi minister Gopal Rai informed the media about Mr Kejriwal’s surrender. “Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was out on bail granted by the Supreme Court for 21 days. He has gone back to jail and I hope that after June 4, once the dictatorship ends, he will come out soon. The entire country is raising questions on the exit poll. The result will come on June 4,” Rai said.

His route was circuitous. Starting from his home around 3 pm, he went to Rajghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi, then to Hanuman mandir and then party headquarters. The last stop was the jail, which he left 21 days ago after getting interim bail from the Supreme Court.

Speaking to party workers at the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters on Sunday, Mr Kejriwal thanked the Supreme Court. He said interim bail had been fruitful. “I did not waste even one minute of the 21 days. I campaigned for all parties. I campaigned to save the country. The country is important, Aam Aadmi Party is second,” he said.

“The best thing that happened during this campaign was that Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that he did not have even an iota of evidence against me,” Mr Kejriwal added. He also accused the Central government of dictatorship, questioning how the Chief Minister of a government that had a sweeping majority could be put in jail without evidence.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo said the 21 days he was out on bail and which he spent campaigning are ‘unforgettable.’ “I am not going to jail because I am corrupt. I am going to jail because I am protesting against dictatorship,” Kejriwal said in a speech to party workers at party headquarters in New Delhi before surrendering. “I do not know when I will return once I go to jail. I do not know what they will do with me. Every moment of my life and every drop of my blood is dedicated to the service of this nation,” Kejriwal said.

“This is dictatorship. I will put anyone I wish in jail and send a message to the whole country that when I can put Kejriwal in jail, I can put anyone in jail,” he added. The AAP chief was accompanied by his wife Sunita Kejriwal, and party leaders including Delhi ministers Atishi, Kailash Gahlot and Saurabh Bharadwaj, Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Sandeep Pathak, and leaders Durgesh Pathak, Rakhi Birla and Reena Gupta.

Mr Kejriwal also said he remains confident ahead of the June 4 Lok Sabha election results. The AAP supremo dismissed the exit polls and called them false. “Exit polls for 2024 Lok Sabha Elections were released yesterday. All these exit polls are fake,” Kejriwal said.

Mr Kejriwal, accused in the Delhi liquor policy case, has been in jail since April 1 till he got relief from the Supreme Court. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) named Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as accused in the case and have booked them under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED told Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi on Tuesday that Kejriwal is the “kingpin” and the “key conspirator” in the excise policy case.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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