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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Arvind Kejriwal Called AAP National Treasurer Confused: ED

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NEW DELHI, April 1: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called his party’s national treasurer ‘confused’ when he was confronted with his statement on issues related to the affairs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Enforcement Directorate claimed before a court on Monday.

The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court of Judge Kaveri Baweja sent the 55-year-old Kejriwal, also the national convener of the AAP, to judicial custody till April 15 in connection with the money laundering probe linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped. He was brought to Tihar jail and will be lodged in jail number 2.

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The ED also alleged that Kejriwal, during his questioning, said AAP communication in-charge Vijay Nair “did not report to him” but to his cabinet colleagues Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj and that his interaction with Nair was “limited”.

Nair was arrested in this case by the ED.

The federal agency charged Kejriwal, in its application filed while seeking his judicial custody, of being “evasive”, giving “misleading replies” and “concealing information” during his questioning in the remand period after his arrest on March 21.

It has earlier called him the “kingpin and key conspirator” of the alleged scam.

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The AAP and its leaders have repeatedly denied the charges of wrongdoing, with Kejriwal alleging that the case was built by the BJP-led Centre to create a “smokescreen” that the AAP is a corrupt party.

“The arrestee (Kejriwal) has even given false and contrary evidence vis-a-vis other members of the AAP. When he was confronted with the statements given by his own party leaders he has called them confused,” the ED told the court.

“National Treasurer of AAP N D Gupta (practising CA and former president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) in his statement has revealed that it is the national convenor Sh Arvind Kejriwal who appoints the state election in-charge/prabhari,” it said.

“State prabhari is supposed to manage all election campaign related matters. In case of Goa elections Sh Durgesh Pathak (AAP MLA) was chosen. However, Sh Arvind Kejriwal states that it is the PAC (Political Affairs Committee) which decided the state election in-charge,” it said.

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The ED claimed that Kejriwal first told it that N D Gupta, also a Rajya Sabha member of the AAP, is an “active member of the party and is a member of the PAC and has knowledge of the party functioning but when confronted with the statement of Sh N D Gupta wherein he (Gupta) reveals that the national convenor takes such decisions, Sh Arvind Kejriwal calls the National Treasurer confused”.

The agency has alleged earlier that Nair, on behalf of AAP leaders, has received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from the ‘south group’ liquor lobby that allegedly involves BRS leader K Kavitha and others.

It had also claimed that Nair “arranged a video call through facetime (a video calling facility on iPhone) on his phone for Sameer (Mahandru) and Sh Arvind Kejriwal, where Sh Arvind said to Sh Sameer that, Vijay is his boy and that Sh Sameer should trust him and carry on with him”.

Sameer Mahandru, a liquor businessman, was arrested in this case by the ED.

The ED said it asked Kejriwal why Vijay Nair was staying in the bungalow of a cabinet minister (Kailash Gahlot) and worked at the CM’s camp office but he claimed “unawareness” about the persons who worked at his camp office.

The agency said Kejriwal was shown “evidence” about more than 10 meetings that Nair had with other co-accused named in this case like liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and even “middlemen” like Dinesh Arora and Abhishek Boinpally and was asked under what authority was he attending these meetings?

It said Kejriwal “evaded” the question by saying he was unaware about these persons.

The ED said the CM again claimed ignorance when he was shown various “evidence” of Rs 45 crore worth hawala transfers to Goa, which the agency has claimed was meant for the party’s poll campaign in the state.

It asked the court not to release Kejriwal as he was “highly influential and there was every likelihood that he would “influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence”.

The excise case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the liquor policy. Subsequently, the ED registered a case under the PMLA. (PTI)

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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