Opposition divided over CBI raid on Delhi Deputy CM Sisodia, blamed AAP’s ‘terrible silence’ in the past

New Delhi: The opposition camp seems to be divided on the issue of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). to raid Regarding alleged violations at the residence of senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia and procedural lapse in drafting and implementation of the now withdrawn Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

While Congress has demanded Sisodia Resignation On the issue, several other prominent leaders of the opposition camp, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, have maintained a deliberate silence on the issue. . issue.

Though West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has not said anything yet, but two of her colleagues in Trinamool Congress (TMC) have said Spoken In support of Sisodia

Notably, as three leaders from all political parties in the opposition bloc told ThePrint, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, along with other top party leaders like Sisodia, also remained silent in recent days when central agencies in the opposition camp went after the leaders of the Congress – as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is questioning the Congress. Sonia Gandhi Last month, the recent arrests of TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee And Anubrata Mandal Arrest of more Shiv Sena leader by CBI in different cases Sanjay Raut ED earlier this month

In March this year, Banerjee written In a letter to opposition leaders, including Kejriwal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government called for a meeting on the alleged misuse of central agencies on political leaders in opposition parties. According to AAP sources, Kejriwal did not react to the letter.

However, in July when several opposition parties wrote to President Draupadi Murmu alleging misconduct An AAP Rajya Sabha MP told ThePrint that the government sought central agencies and their intervention, AAP MPs were among the signatories.

Two senior leaders of political parties in the opposition camp said on the condition of anonymity that AAP’s strategy of keeping a distance from raids on opposition leaders and now splitting Sisodia within the opposition camp reflects conflicting ambitions within the opposition faction. who all are there. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will eventually have a face-to-face in the 2024 general elections.

He said that till now many leaders including Banerjee, Rao, Pawar, Kejriwal and now Nitish Kumar are actively involved in the race.

According to a senior AAP leader from Delhi on condition of anonymity, as AAP has big plans to expand to other states, “harmony with regional parties on all issues may backfire on the party”.

Read also: ‘Abuse for welfare schemes’: How is AAP trying to fight BJP after Modi’s ‘revdi’ statement?

‘No one benefits from divergent thinking’

So far only a few people have come forward to condemn the latest action taken by the Center against AAP.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday slammed the Congress for protesting against AAP and demanding Sisodia’s resignation after the CBI raid.

He said Tweet: “Sadly, Congress is unable to rise above the interests of the party as AAP is a formidable rival. Even after being himself a victim of ED attack, he is joining BJP’s propaganda. At a time when agencies are being made weapons, the opposition should have united.”

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat Friday condemned The CBI raided Sisodia’s residence, saying the BJP-led Center was targeting opposition political parties with the help of central agencies.

Mamata has kept silence, while TMC MPs Saugata Roy and Shantanu Sen condemned The CBI raided Sisodia’s residence and alleged that such moves were a part of the BJP’s attempt to intimidate the opposition across the country.

Roy said: “The raids are an attempt to intimidate and intimidate the opposition. Manish Sisodia is the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, and central agencies are trying to harass him on the orders of their political masters.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha also condemned Raid on Sisodia, but also criticized AAP for maintaining “terrible silence” when central agencies cornered other opposition leaders.

He said: “Institutions like CBI and ED have lost their character. Their direction is fixed, we all know where it comes from. When opposition leaders are raided, AAP [Arvind Kejriwal] Terrible chooses silence. We’re speaking for you, aren’t we? No one will benefit from this alienated thinking or this kind of one-sided thinking.

Your ‘strategy’ on silence

A senior AAP leader from Delhi, speaking on the condition of anonymity, spoke on four broad points of silence and his strategy to stay away from the idea of ​​a united opposition front so far.

“First, since the victory of Punjab in March, AAP is on an expansion spree in the states. We see both BJP and Congress as our big opponents. We ourselves have been calling the Congress corruption since decades. The question of supporting Congress does not arise when their leaders are questioned for corruption.

“Secondly, AAP is completely dependent on anti-corruption ideology, so it cannot afford to take the wrong call to support its allies. In the case of someone like Partha Chatterjee, it was a risky deal as even Mamata Banerjee could not defend him.

“Thirdly, AAP has a long term plan to expand to many states in which these regional parties are eventually going to face us as opponents sooner or later. Telangana is one example, West Bengal another. Fourth, now that AAP has started the ‘Make India No 1’ mission, there is no doubt that Arvind Kejriwal has national ambitions. Alliance with regional parties on all issues can have an adverse effect on the Aam Aadmi Party.

According to Chandrachur Singh, associate professor in the department of political science at the Hindu College under Delhi University, there is a “big picture” when it comes to assessing the visible split in the opposition camp with regard to the CBI raid on Sisodia.

He said that at present the only thing which sticks to the opposition parties is their anti-Modi issue, but there are many conflicting factors as well. “If you look at the trajectory of state parties, they have always been competitive and it comes in the way of opposition unity. The primary reason is that they mostly compete on the same vote base. There is no linearity and most of these parties have territorial boundaries. For example, in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee fights both the Left and the Congress. But he is often seen on the national canvas under the umbrella of the larger opposition. ,

“Also, AAP is trying to expand to other states, so sooner or later they will also find themselves competing with other regional parties. At present, the anti-Modi stance seems to be the only adhesive uniting the opposition. But to emerge as a front, they need more of an ideological commitment, which is missing at the moment,” Singh said.

(Edited by Jinnia Ray Chowdhury)

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