Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia Arrested

India’s CBI has arrested the deputy chief minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, for alleged corruption.

Just a few days back a full-blown chaos broke out inside the house of Delhi’s civic body Friday evening, with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party councillors engaging in fistfights, throwing punches and pushing one another. The House, then had descended into complete pandemonium, as AAP and BJP councillors exchanged blows, and at one point even resorted to flinging water bottles, fruit and ballot boxes at one another — giving way to over a dozen adjournments. People were even injured. 

Now another drama has emmerged in Delhi. The Deputy chief minister of Delhi is Manish Sisodia. He is one of the most power leaders in the AAP party and is known as Arvind Kejriwal’s right hand man. Initially he did not have that much power. A man named Satyendar Jain was managing everything. The AAP had praised Sisodia and Jain for the successful transformation of Delhi's education and health services, contributing to the party's popularity and continued electoral success. However, when Jain was arrested in a money laundering case, Sisodia took over his entire portfolio. Manish Sisodia is in-charge of the AAP government's flagship schemes across various sectors -- education, health, finance, urban development, industries, power and others -- under the Delhi government, the highest by any minister in the Kejriwal Cabinet. He is also in-charge of all other departments not specifically allotted to any minister. 

Now Sisodia has been arrested for Corruption by the CBI. The CBI said that the Deputy CM had a announced a new alcohol policy because of which many new alocohol shops were opened in Delhi. However there has been many irregularities with the policies, and many allegations were made against Sisodia for corruption. When the CBI called Sisodia for questioning, he gave evasive replies and did not co-operate with the investigation despite being confronted with evidence. This is why he was placed under arrest. Mr Sisodia and his Aam Aadmi Party deny the allegations, accusing the governing BJP of playing "dirty politics". Questions of corruption are a sensitive matter for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which emerged more than 10 years ago from a major movement against corruption.

It is trying to establish itself as a key opposition force to PM Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP, and has already won control of the Punjab state and the capital region Delhi. The AAP claimed the arrest was due to "political rivalry" and that it was a "fake case". Arvind Kejriwal, AAP party leader and Delhi's chief minister, said Mr Sisodia was innocent. If Sisodia does not get bail, the chief minister will be in major trouble. He may have to reshuffle his cabinet and distribute the massive workload that Sisodia had been handling. The arrest of two senior AAP leaders, Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia, in a year, has posed a big challenge for the Delhi government. Their absence leaves Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with no heavyweight lieutenant to implement his governance agenda in Delhi. So this is a conspiracy by BJP against the AAP? Or are these ministers really corrupt? Let us know in the comments.