AAP’s “Money Trail” Charge Against BJP After Arvind Kejriwal’s Arrest

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was sent to seven-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate, Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the money trail in the Delhi liquor policy case led to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The probe agency told the court that Arvind Kejriwal acted as a middleman and facilitated kickbacks to the Delhi government worth Rs 100 crore from the “South Group”.

Countering the claims, AAP’s Atishi said that the money trail in the case led to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. She based her claims on the fact that Aurobindo Pharma director Sharath Chandra Reddy, who was also arrested in the case in 2022, has donated to the Bharatiya Janata Party through electoral bonds.

“In these two years, a question has come up again and again – Where is the money trail? Where did the money go? No proceeds of crime were recovered from any leader, minister or worker of AAP,” said Atishi, who is No. 2 in the Delhi government.

“Sharat Chandra Reddy was summoned on 9th November 2022 for questioning. He clearly said that he never met or spoke with Arvind Kejriwal and has nothing to do with AAP. As soon as he said that, he was arrested the next day by the ED. After being in jail for several months, he changed his statement. He said that he met Arvind Kejriwal and spoke with him over the excise policy matter. He was granted bail as soon as he said that,” Atishi added.

Citing the data on donations through electoral bonds recently released by the Election Commission, Atishi said that Aurobindo Pharma donated crores of rupees to the BJP. The data shows that Aurobindo Pharma purchased bonds worth Rs 52 crore between April 2021 and November 2023, of which 66% were for the BJP, while the rest were split between Telangana-based Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Andhra-based Telugu Desam Party.

AAP Senior Leaders Addressing an Important Press Conference | LIVE https://t.co/iAhixaPKwR

— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 23, 2024

Arvind Kejriwal was on Thursday arrested by the ED in a corruption case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The ED’s case is that the Delhi liquor policy 2021-22 provided an exceptionally high-profit margin of 12 per cent for wholesalers and nearly 185 per cent for retailers. Of the 12 per cent, 6 per cent was to be recovered from wholesalers as kickbacks for AAP leaders, and the “South Group” allegedly gave Rs 100 crore in advance to another accused, Vijay Nair, who was linked to the AAP.

The “South Group” is the name given by central agencies to an alleged network of middlemen, businessmen and politicians.

The AAP has insisted that Mr Kejriwal will function as the head of government, even if it meant doing so from inside jail.

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