Friday, May 24, 2024

“Political witch-hunt”: 9 Oppn leaders write to PM Modi condemning Manish Sisodia’s arrest

Nine opposition leaders including four chief ministers shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday condemning the arrest of former Delhi deputy CM and AAP leader Manish Sisodia by the CBI.

The leaders include Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, (AAP), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) and Akhilesh Yadav (SP).

“Sisodia’s arrest will be cited worldwide as an example of a political witch-hunt & further confirm what the world was only suspecting — India’s democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP,” the letter said.

“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 letter said.

“After a long witch-hunt, Manish Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularity without a shred of evidence against him,” read the letter to PM Modi.

“Out of the total number of key politicians booked, arrested, raided or interrogated by the investigation agencies under your administration since 2014, the maximum belongs to the opposition. Interestingly, investigation agencies go slow on cases against opposition politicians who join the BJP,” the letter said.

“Since 2014, there has been a marked rise in the number of raids conducted, cases lodged against and arrest of the opposition leaders. Be it Lalu Prasad Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Azam Khan (Samajwadi Party), Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh (NCP), Abhishek Banerjee (TMC), central agencies have often sparked suspicion that they were working as extended wings of the ruling dispensation at the centre. In many such cases, the timings of the cases lodged or arrests made have coincided with elections making it abundantly clear that they were politically motivated,” the opposition leaders said in the letter.

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