Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that CBI raided his office and described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “a coward and a psychopath”.
The CBI, however, said it did not raid Kejriwal’s office but that of his secretary. A senior union minister said that Modi had “nothing to do” with the raid.
An incensed Kejriwal promptly took to twitter and said: “Modi is a coward and a psycopath.”
“CBI raids my office,” he said, adding: “When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice.”
A CBI officer said that a case has been registered against Kerjiwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar for alleged abuse of office to favour a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments.
“After taking warrants, searches are being conducted in the office and residence of Rajendra Kumar. The allegations against Kumar were raised by member secretary Delhi Dialogue Commission Ashish Kumar Joshi,” the CBI officer said.
Kejriwal retorted: “CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?”
Contending that Rajendra Kumar was just an excuse, Kejriwal said the files at his office were being examined.
In a string of tweets, Kejriwal said: “I am the only CM who dismissed, on my own, a minister n a senior officer on charges of corruption and handed their cases to CBI.”
Kejriwal was referring to the October 9 public sacking of Food Minister Asim Ahmed Khan for allegedly demanding bribes from a builder.
“If CBI had any evidence against Rajender, why didn’t they share it wid me? I wud hv acted against him,” Kejriwal said in another tweet.
Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that the prime minister has “nothing to do” with the CBI raids at Kejriwal’s office.
“CBI is an independent organisation. The government does not interfere at all. How can you criticize the central government and the prime minister? PM has nothing to do with this,” Naidu told reporters here.
“It has become fashionable from the Delhi chief minister to quarrel with the central government and take PM’s name for everything,” he said, adding “CBI does not function under the government. Gone are days of Congress when CBI used to be misused.”
Delhi Police sources said that the Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) last Thursday forwarded a complaint registered against Rajendra Kumar to the CBI.
Sources said that Joshi had approached approached the ACB with his complaint on July 13.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju refused to comment on the issue and merely said: “Don’t ask ministers about agency’s work.”
Kejriwal has repeatedly maintained that he would not tolerate corruption and had said that “even if we have to give the biggest sacrifice, we will not compromise on corruption. We are keeping a vigil on everyone”.
His deputy, Manish Sisodia, tweeted that CBI is trying to stop honest politics through the fear of raids. He added that people are with the truth and they won’t succeed.
The Aam Aadmi Party reacted strongly to the development, with spokesperson Ashutosh asking: “If they wanted to see any file, why did they not inform Delhi CM?”
“Raiding CM’s office without informing CM is an act of cowardice. Whichever file they demand, will be given to them,” he told reporters.
Condemning the raid, the JD-U’s K.C. Tyagi described it as an act of cowardice and that the party condemned it. “We will raise this issue in parliament,” he said.
He described it as politics of vendetta against a chief minister who is not from the BJP.
The AAP had resoundingly won the Delhi assembly election in February this year, winning 67 of the 70 seats. The BJP had managed to get barely three seats.