Arvind Kejriwal Arrest: A Blow to Aam Aadmi Party’s Leadership

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Aam Aadmi Party’s national governor and Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday night, connecting him with the Delhi excise policy case. This makes him the first sitting chief minister to be arrested. Following the record of events, the part has announced the working of Kejriwal from inside the jail. 

Party members and officials started protesting in the national capital. On Friday, at 10 in the morning, the workers gathered outside the ITO headquarters in Delhi to protest. Reports also said that there would be a demonstration outside the workplace of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since protests began, Delhi Police has diverted traffic routes and restricted the audience to protest at DDU Marg because it is a vital office location. Section 144 has also been imposed.

Upon his arrest, AAP members had requested for an immediate hearing in front of the Supreme Court. However, their request had been rejected and the court had said that there would be no midnight hearing. However, Justice Sanjeev Khanna on Friday morning, agreed to hear the case. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has asked Kejriwal’s senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi to present this case in front of the 3-judge bench which is also hearing his co-accused Kavitha’s case. The 3-judge bench comprises of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, MM Sundresh, and Bela M Trivedi. Arvind Kejriwal will be presented in the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court at around 2:30 p.m.

AAP Ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj, who are in support of Kejriwal have been detained by Delhi Police at Delhi’s ITO as they were seen protesting against the protest. Amidst the Arvind Kejriwal arrest case, his family has been put on house arrest, therefore no one is being allowed to meet the family members. 

The arrest order has come just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. ED has reportedly arrested the Delhi CM on charges of money laundering in association with the Liquor Scam. The arrest has been a result of the various summons sent by the ED to him. There had been total nine summons, and in the final one, he moved to the High Court asking it to direct the central agency to not take any actions against the sitting PM. While HC had kept this matter to be heard on the 22nd of the next month, Kejriwal’s call of arrest arrived before any hearing could be done. Union Minister Giriraj Singh stated, “The nation works as per law. He (Arvind Kejriwal) was issued many summons, despite that he approached the High Court, but the court did not acquit him. He is completely unmasked today. People extended their support to him, however, in return he betrayed them.”

Several other party leaders such as Rahul Gandhi from Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have come in support of Kejriwal and his family, condemning this act as a conspiracy.

As per latest reports, Arvind Kejriwal has been produced in the PMLA court, where his matter would be heard. 

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