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"Corruption is their birthright": BJP's Sudhanshu Trivedi slams AAP over Sisodia's defence
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sudhanshu Trivedi on Sunday drew an analogy of Lokmanya Tilak's 'Swaraj' slogan, and said that the Aam Aadmi Party considers "corruption as their birthright" while also seeing it as its "right" to avoid investigations against corruption charges.
This comes after the AAP leaders protested against the arrest of party leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy scam case. "Lokmanya Tilak started a revolution of Swaraj, but he wouldn't have thought that in future there would be parties sitting in power which would say corruption is their birthright. They think that avoiding investigations against corruption charges is their right," Trivedi said while speaking to ANI.
The BJP leader further called out the AAP's change of stance against other political parties before the party was floated riding on the waves of the 'India against Corruption' movement across the country.
Asked about the letter written by nine Opposition leaders including Arvind Kejriwal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the arrest of Sisodia, Trivedi said that AAP is the same party which levelled allegations of corruption against the same Opposition leaders with whom they are seeking support today.
"This is the same party which used to say that there should be a resignation as soon as allegations of corruption are levelled, and an investigation should be done later. Today they say there should not even be an investigation. Who are they taking support from - those against whom they had levelled allegations of corruption on the Ramlila Maidan?" he said.
"It becomes very clear today that these are those parties which sat on the Constitutional posts and considered corruption their right. The arrogance has reached such a level that they are opposing the investigations. It is unfortunate that attempts are being made to threaten the probe agencies and the systems of the country," the BJP leader alleged.
Recalling that the action taken against the Opposition leaders during the UPA rule between 2004 and 2014 was mostly on those who were non-BJP, Trivedi said that their "character" remained unchanged- "tainted then and tainted now".
"I want to state a fact. They say that it is being done after 2014. Between 2004 to 2014, all those leaders who had to face an investigation by the agencies or a Supreme Court probe on the corruption allegations against them, there were 42 leaders and 41 were non-BJP leaders. That means, that your character was tainted then and tainted now also," he said.
Earlier today, the nine Opposition leaders alleged that the timings of the lodging of cases or arrests of the Opposition leaders "coincided with elections" which makes it clear that the action taken was "politically motivated".
"We hope you would agree that India is still a democratic country. The blatant misuse of central agencies against the members of the opposition appears to suggest that we have transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy," the leaders wrote.
Calling the action against Sisodia, who was arrested on February 26 by the CBI, a "long witch-hunt", the letter alleged that the allegations levelled in connection with the excise policy are a "smack of a political conspiracy".
They claimed that Sisodia's arrest has "enraged" people across the country and alleged that his arrest will "confirm what the world was only suspecting" that India's democratic values were "threatened" under the BJP rule.
"The allegations against Sisodia are outrightly baseless and smack of a political conspiracy. His arrest has enraged people across the country. Manish Sisodia is recognised globally for transforming Delhi's school education. His arrest will be cited worldwide as an example of a political witch-hunt and further confirm what the world was only suspecting - that India's democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP regime," the leaders wrote.
Among the Opposition leaders who were the signatories of the letter included BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, JKNC chief Farooq Abdullah, AITC chief Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
However, there were no representations from Congress, JDS, JD (U), and CPI (M) in the letter. (ANI)