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BJP Seeks Kejriwal’s Resignation, AAP Plans Office In Jail

Will Seek Court Permission To Set Up Office In Jail: Punjab CM

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NEW DELHI, March 23: Aam Aadmi Party leader and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said that if his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal is sent to jail, they will approach the court for permission to set up his office in prison so that he can run his government from there.

He also asserted that no one can take Kejriwal’s place in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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“It is not written anywhere that a government cannot run from jail,” Mann told PTI videos in an interview when asked about the arrest of the Delhi chief minister and AAP chief by the Enforcement Directorate in an excise policy case and how he will run his government if he is remanded in jail custody.

The BJP has demanded the resignation of Kejriwal after he was sent to ED custody till March 28.

“The law says he can work from jail till found guilty. We will seek permission from the Supreme Court, High Court for setting up an office in the jail and the (Delhi) government will function,” Mann said.

No one can take Kejriwal’s place in AAP because he created the party out of the anti-corruption movement, Mann, who often accompanied Kejriwal to public meetings across the country, replied when asked if the campaigning for Lok Sabha polls will be affected by the AAP chief’s arrest.

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He said he would go wherever the party assigns him duty.

“No one can take the place of Arvind Kejriwal in the party because the party was brought out of the movement (India Against Corruption). He is a senior founder member of the party. The day he registered the party and got the symbol of broom, I was not with him. I joined later on,” Mann said.

The Punjab chief minister said there is no ranking in AAP, adding, “Everyone is a loyal soldier of Kejriwal”.

“Kejriwal did one thing in the party, he made everyone national convener. AAP made everyone a leader.

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”I have 92 MLAs in Punjab. Out of these 80 are first-timers aged 28-30 years who are MLAs, ministers. So, there is no ranking of generals and soldiers in the AAP. We all are generals and soldiers- loyal soldiers of Arvind Kejriwal… we are standing rock-solid with him,” Mann said.

The Punjab chief minister lashed out at the BJP alleging it was engaging in “political vendetta” and wanted to send everyone in the opposition to jail to win elections.

“This happened in Bangladesh. The entire opposition of the country is in jail. In Russia, Putin became President till 2030 with 88 per cent votes. Is this a democracy?” he said.

Mann pointed out that India is said to be the biggest democracy in the world and added, “Is this democracy to send those who built hospitals, schools, and speak in Rajya Sabha behind bars.”

The top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party including former deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia, former health minister Satyendar Jain and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh are in jail for many months after being arrested in money laundering cases.

Kejriwal is currently in Enforcement Directorate custody till March 28. He was arrested by the ED on Thursday night in connection with a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy of his government. Sisodia and Singh are also in jail in the same matter.

“At present, there is a need to save the Constitution of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and 140 crore people of the country understand this,” Mann said.

Meanwhile, Delhi cabinet minister Atishi claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party office in the city has been “sealed” from all sides, adding the party will report the matter to the Election Commission. A Delhi Police officer refuted the allegation by AAP.

Police personnel were deployed at DDU Marg to stop the gathering of people since CrPC section 144 is imposed there, the officer said. (PTI)


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