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‘Their intention is not to probe but to torture, harass, defame Kejriwal, and finish AAP’: Sanjay Singh

The AAP leader vehemently defends party supremo Arvind Kejriwal against accusations, and alleges a conspiracy to undermine him.

Published : Apr 22, 2024 20:56 IST - 11 MINS READ

Sanjay Singh, AAP leader and MP, says there is a “deeper conspiracy against Arvind Kejriwal.“

Sanjay Singh, AAP leader and MP, says there is a “deeper conspiracy against Arvind Kejriwal.“ | Photo Credit: By Special Arrangement

Sanjay Singh, a two-term Rajya Sabha MP from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is an accused in the Delhi excise policy case. This month, Singh was granted bail after spending six months behind bars. The bail was granted as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) did not oppose it, stating that his custody was no longer necessary. Earlier, the Supreme Court had made strong observations criticising the case and the investigating agency. In this exclusive interview with Frontline, Singh talks about the case, the allegations of political vendetta, the evolving political scenario in the country, and the prospects of his party AAP and the INDIA bloc, of which AAP is a part.


The BJP has claimed that Arvind Kejriwal is deliberately eating mangoes and sweets in jail despite being diabetic to increase his sugar levels and create a medical ground for bail.

There is a deeper conspiracy against Arvind Kejriwal. He has been dependent on insulin for 20-22 years, which most senior journalists know. In jail, he is not being given insulin. His life is being played with. When in ED custody, his sugar level dropped to 45. Diabetics face fluctuations, and when their sugar drops, they need to consume sweets, as any doctor would advise. The court order directs jail authorities to provide Kejriwal with Isabgol, glucose, toffees, and bananas as required in case of a sudden sugar drop. Yet, the ED is telling the same court that Kejriwal is eating these items to increase his sugar for bail.

This is a conspiracy to play with his life. He has to eat sweets if his sugar drops. He was sent home-cooked food 48 times, including aloo puri as prasad once, which is being made an issue. Perhaps mangoes were sent two or three times. Their intention is not to probe but to torture, harass, defame Kejriwal, and finish AAP.

Also Read | Opposition showcases unity at massive rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Grounds, slams BJP’s ‘witch hunt’

What fears do you have when you say there is a deeper conspiracy against Kejriwal?

I had said this even in custody—those fighting are dangerous and can go to any extent. The Home Minister and the ruling party’s president are also diabetic. Did we ever mock their illness? Why are they not stopping their party members from mocking Kejriwal’s illness? Is this their conduct? Their culture? Is this what the Hindu religion teaches—to pray for someone’s death, and mock their illness? Indian culture teaches us to pray for even an enemy’s recovery if they fall sick. But all BJP leaders are mocking Kejriwal’s illness.

In an interview with Frontline, the AAP leader who is an accused in the Delhi excise policy case says there is a conspiracy to undermine Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. | Video Credit: Camera by Dipesh Arora; Edited by Samson Ronald K.

Why is Kejriwal not resigning as Chief Minister? Other Chief Ministers resigned after arrest. Is running the government from jail not setting a wrong precedent?

Kejriwal has been jailed in a false case. If this becomes a precedent, no opposition government will survive. The BJP will file fake cases against CMs of other states too. Their purpose is not to investigate—nothing was recovered from Kejriwal or Sisodia’s residence. Arrests were based on statements by Raghav Reddy and Magunta Reddy who named them only after repeated questioning to get bail. Is this a fair investigation? Out of 456 witnesses, only 4 named Kejriwal under suspicious circumstances to become approvers.

The delay in getting bail for arrested Opposition leaders like Kejriwal creates doubts about something fishy. Is there a corruption taint on you, making it difficult to justify?

The difficulties in getting bail are due to the complexities of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), not guilt. Look at the cases of Sanjay Raut or Anil Deshmukh—one can be kept in jail for long periods without basis under PMLA. The conditions for bail are very complex, a matter pending before the Supreme Court. However, not getting bail doesn’t mean guilt. The ED has kept 20,000 pages of un-relied documents and digital data. They have not presented all statements before the court, only selective ones against AAP leaders, treating the rest as un-relied. How will the court decide without full documents?

They picked selective statements, and made those persons approvers to get them bail. All 12 statements of Sharath Reddy are not before the court, nor the 10 statements of Raghav Reddy and Magunta Reddy. Magunta is now a TDP candidate in Andhra, seeking votes with [Prime Minister] Modi’s photo. Our counsel argued this, and the court ordered an inspection in March where all this will come out. It took the ED 380 days to provide the list of relied and un-relied documents. Is this an investigation or a joke? Under Section 50, false statements attract action. So why did they not place all 12 statements before the court?

Also Read | ‘Electoral democracy is not an even playing field in India today’: Krishna Byre Gowda

This could be a long legal battle, but as AAP emerged from the anti-corruption movement, having 3-4 leaders jailed in a corruption case dents AAP’s anti-corruption image?

We’ll be embarrassed if jailed for actual corruption, which should invite action. But we didn’t engage in corruption and were jailed with the intention of finishing our party. We’ll fight them. Kejriwal quit his job and resigned after 49 days as CM for not tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill. If the BJP’s purpose is filing fake cases against us, we’ll fight. How can Modi/BJP speak against corruption or raise morality? You seek the resignation of the Delhi Chief Minister who gave free services to people, but no action in Manipur where a Kargil warrior’s wife was paraded naked. The Lakhimpur Kheri accused Minister didn’t resign. You’re inducting the corrupt from all regions. Is this Modi’s guarantee?

Why are so many AAP leaders going to jail compared to other Opposition parties?

Because they feel threatened by us. Others are also targeted—Congress’ bank accounts frozen, Hemant Soren arrested, the case against Sharad Pawar’s grandson, Tejashwi’s family harassed, Mamata Banerjee and nephew face action daily, Akhilesh Yadav gets daily notices. You tell me why.

Is the Opposition, including your party, losing out this election season due to such actions against leaders?

We are getting stronger. People are increasingly seeing there is a dictatorial government that needs to be removed, or a situation will arise where they enter homes and beat people up. I’m not provoking, but BJP leaders are openly saying they have to change the Constitution if they get 400 seats, ending reservations, farmers’ rights, etc. They say they’ll rule for 50 years. For the country, the Constitution is by Ambedkar, for the BJP it’s written by RSS. The country needs to be cautious.

Are these issues resonating on the ground? Will the 2024 election be fought on this?

We’re facing the biggest unemployment in 45 years. India has a Rs.200 lakh crore loan. Rs.15 lakh crore industrialists’ dues waived off, Rs.3.53 lakh crore in bank settlements. Nirav Modi fled with Rs.20,000 crore, Vijay Mallya Rs.10,000 crore, Nitin Sandesra Rs.6,000 crore, Lalit Modi Rs.3,000 crore. No action against them?

Don’t you think the absence of a solid Opposition alliance is a disadvantage? INDIA bloc failed to take off strongly. Mamata-Congress are separate in Bengal, AAP-Congress fights in Punjab, Congress-CPI(M) fight in Kerala. Aren’t you working at cross purposes?

Contradictions and differences will remain in a democracy, otherwise, it’s a dictatorship. We are separate parties with separate views and differences of opinion. But despite that, we strive to maximise unity and fight them together. The INDIA bloc is fighting strongly in many places like Delhi, Maharashtra, and Bihar. We’re also fighting in UP. You’ll see them wiped out this election. Price rise and unemployment are huge issues harassing people, but they’re not addressing these. They claim India is the 5th biggest economy, but ranks 142th in per capita income. So what good have they done for the people? They want 82 crore people to survive on 5 kg rice but gave everything to friends —coal, oil, land, sky.

People are seeing this, so you’ll get unexpected results. Their slogans and statements have no impact. They’re adept at lies—they said they would cross 200 seats but got 77, in Delhi, they claimed over 45 but got 8, in Mizoram over 21 but got 1, in Haryana over 75 but got 40, in Karnataka over 130 but got 60-65.

You have been participating in INDIA bloc meetings for long. What could have been done better?

The seat-sharing formula we arrived at should have been finalised earlier, by October. It took more time, but after that, we are all campaigning together and fighting a united battle.

Many former AAP leaders who quit in the past backed AAP after Kejriwal’s arrest. Do you see a possibility of them rejoining in this crisis—like Yogendra Yadav and others?

We are thankful they gave these statements and put forth the reality. Now when there is a constitutional and democratic crisis in the country, the fact that they spoke, we are grateful.

“People are increasingly seeing there is a dictatorial government that needs to be removed, or a situation will arise where they enter homes and beat people up.”

Do you foresee young AAP leaders deserting the party amid serial arrests of leaders? There was speculation about Raghav Chadha earlier.

It’s in one’s hands to be remembered as a coward or a brave heart. Time will decide. Today the party is in crisis, everyone should stand by it. People are watching who stands by it. I don’t think anybody will leave in this crisis hour, barring one Rajkumar Anand. Some left in Punjab too. But if anyone leaves in Delhi, they have no future, as people feel Kejriwal worked for them and stand behind him.

Your party governs Delhi and Punjab, but while the liquor policy was scrapped in Delhi, it continues in Punjab. Why this contradiction?

There’s no contradiction. Excise revenue increased in Punjab. The policy was right but faced implementation issues in Delhi as we don’t have land or law and order control. The BJP and L-G tried to abolish it, spreading lies that liquor vends increased, which is false.

The Lt. Governor commented against mohalla clinics and water scarcity. Is governance in Delhi suffering?

We’re not letting governance suffer. If officers are lax, the  Lt. Governor should take action as he controls services. Our Ministers visit problem areas, but no action is taken despite writing letters.

The BJP frequently refers to the Ram Mandir issue for elections. How much will this resonate?

Ram Mandir was built per the Supreme Court’s order. People have faith in Lord Ram but are you (the BJP) its gatekeeper? You didn’t invite the President for the inauguration or the former President during the foundation laying. This discriminatory mindset shows you’re not interested in any section’s welfare—Dalits, OBCs. Rising unemployment, inflation, illiteracy, and health issues affect Hindus the most as they’re the majority. So elections will be fought on price rise, and unemployment, not religion or caste.

Their corruption is out in the electoral bonds scam—the biggest party takes donations from firms raided by ED/CBI. Companies donate and get contracts worth Rs 3.8 lakh crore through bribes. The PM justifies the electoral bond scheme declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. This shows the BJP is neck-deep in corruption and has no right to speak on it.

For national elections, who from the Opposition will be the PM face versus Modi? Why vote for a party limited to a few states that can’t form a government at the Centre?

This is a perception the media is pushing. Tell me one quality of PM Modi that benefited the nation? The man who talks about shamshan and kabristan has no vision for opening schools and hospitals. I call the BJP a factory of hatred that cannot bring peace. What vision does he have? What has he done for the country except bring three black farm laws making farmers protest for a year, and the Agnipath scheme? Petrol was ₹120/ltr, diesel ₹100, mustard oil ₹150. The perception that Modi is so capable is false—there are many more capable leaders in the INDIA bloc.

Also Read | The totalitarian project behind the electoral bonds scheme

So you believe the INDIA bloc will unanimously decide on its PM face after polls?

Yes, this will be arrived at easily. Every leader is capable enough, unlike Modi who said the weather was bad, or that Alexander visited Bihar which he never did. What kind of perception is the media peddling?

How important is a “face” for elections?

In this election, issues are more important. People have seen the outcome of voting for a face. How did Modi become so capable when he asked to bang thalis to remove Corona? It makes me wonder about the media’s intelligence too when they ask who is more capable than Modi.

What is the alternative model of the AAP or INDIA bloc as an answer to the “Modi Model” or “Modi magic” that the BJP tries to hard-sell? Why should people vote for AAP or the Opposition alliance?

We believe there should be a government that brings an economy where everyone can participate, have money in their pocket, and contribute to the market system. They attack the Delhi model calling it “freebies”, but how will people participate in the economy if not empowered? How will the economy grow if per capita income doesn’t grow? The Delhi model provides free water, electricity, and education. The savings people make are spent in the market economy, allowing it to thrive. Their model takes away people’s money and gives it to a few friends. This won’t benefit or empower people. We want our economic model across the country—people get basic needs at minimum cost or free, tax money utilised for public welfare, not benefiting a few. An economy that benefits only a few, like the PM is pushing, is very dangerous.

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