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“Should There Be Separate Laws For AAP, Congress?” Anurag Thakur To NDTV



Anurag Thakur is the Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister.

New Delhi:

Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday ripped into Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – in jail on corruption charges related to an alleged liquor policy scam – and demanded to know if a separate set of laws had to be framed for the Aam Aadmi Party leader and his colleagues.

Mr Thakur also pointed out that three of Mr Kejriwal’s colleagues, including ex-Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, are also in jail on corruption and money laundering charges.

“Ten years ago he (Arvind Kejriwal) said, ‘I swear on my children I will not join politics’. Then he joined politics. He said. ‘I will never ally with the Congress’. He has allied with the Congress. He said, ‘I will never take security (cover, as an elected representative)’. Now his party has taken security for two states. He said, ‘I will fight corruption’… and now he is in jail for corruption,” he said mockingly.

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“When Arvind Kejriwal’s party commits corruption… should there be a separate law for him, for AAP? His (former) Deputy Chief Minister Minister has been in jail for nearly 18 months (referring to Manish Sisodia, who was arrested in February last year)… but Kejriwal gives ‘clean chit’?”

“Should we listen to him or the probe agencies,” Mr Thakur asked.

The Union Minister also dusted off the BJP’s “kattar beimaan“, or “staunchly corrupt”, jab at Mr Kejriwal and the AAP. In October last year too the saffron party had launched the jibe at its rival.

READ | Regular Arrests Have Torn AAP’s Claim Of “Kattar” Honesty: BJP

Speaking at NDTV’s ‘Youth For Change’ conclave, Mr Thakur also slammed the Congress after it hit out at the government over a Rs 100 crore demand from the Income Tax Department.

The party, which has joined the AAP in attacking the BJP over Mr Kejriwal’s arrest – called the demand an “attack on democracy” and said it leaves them unable to fund its election campaign.

READ | Congress Moves Supreme Court Over 100 Crore Tax Dues Case

“Does the law also not apply to the Congress? In India, political parties don’t pay income tax… but they have to file returns. Is the Congress so incompetent they can’t even do that?” he asked.

“And then you have a man (circling back to Mr Kejriwal) who says he will fight corruption… and then his party is involved in corruption. Who should we believe? The law or them?” he declared.

Mr Thakur also waved away allegations by the Congress, the AAP, and other opposition parties – that the BJP uses agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (which arrested Mr Kejriwal) and the Central Bureau of Investigation, as well as tax officials, to harass rivals, particularly before elections.

READ | Anurag Thakur Makes Strong Case For ‘One Nation, One Election’

“The authorities will act against anyone who is corrupt. I want to reassure everyone that this is the same whether they are from BJP or our allies… the corrupt will get punished,” he said, in response to a question on why lawmakers from the saffron party don’t seem to be accused of corruption.

“But if we have not been corrupt… if we don’t have corrupt leaders… then what do we do?”

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