In a major blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case related to the investigation into the Delhi liquor policy.
This arrest follows a series of setbacks for the party, including the arrest of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The raids against Singh were conducted after he was named by businessman Dinesh Arora, who later turned approver.
As the investigation unfolds, the AAP is facing mounting scrutiny and challenges from its political opponents.
Raids and Defense
Search operations began at Sanjay Singh’s residence in Delhi early on Wednesday morning and lasted for several hours.
During the raids, AAP workers gathered outside his house, protesting against the “misuse” of government agencies.
Additional police personnel were deployed to maintain order and prevent any escalation of the situation.
Sanjay Singh has been taken to the Enforcement Directorate office, where he will be questioned and his statement recorded. It is expected that the agency will seek his custody and produce him in court on Thursday afternoon.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is also the leader of the AAP, voiced his support for Singh during the raids.
Kejriwal criticized the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) without naming them directly, accusing them of using desperate tactics to undermine their rivals ahead of the upcoming general election.
Kejriwal went on to dismiss the allegations of a liquor scam, claiming that extensive investigations have yielded no evidence.
Surprisingly, the Enforcement Directorate has never named Sanjay Singh as an accused nor summoned him to record his statement in connection with the case. Months prior to his arrest, Singh had posted a photo on social media, showing him standing next to posters outside his home that were “welcoming” the Enforcement Directorate.
This photo was shared by the AAP on the day of his arrest, seemingly suggesting that Singh had predicted his arrest.
Sanjay Singh’s father, Dinesh Singh, expressed confidence in his son’s innocence and stated that the family had cooperated with the police during the raids. He reassured Sanjay that the truth would prevail and that they were not worried about the arrest.
The Case and Political Controversy
The investigation into the Delhi liquor policy involves both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate.
The policy, introduced in November 2021, allowed private licensees to run liquor stores by withdrawing the government’s involvement in the retail sale of liquor. However, in July 2022, Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar alleged gross violations and “undue benefits” to licensees under the policy.
The liquor policy and the alleged corruption surrounding it have become contentious issues between the AAP, the BJP, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, and the Delhi government.
The arrest of Sanjay Singh, an AAP Rajya Sabha MP, in connection with the money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy investigation is another setback for the party.
With the arrests of other prominent AAP members, the party is facing growing scrutiny and challenges from its opponents. As the case unfolds and the investigation continues, the future of the AAP and its political fortunes hang in the balance. Only time will tell how the party will navigate these turbulent waters and regain the trust of the electorate.