Delhi CM Kejriwal surrenders at Tihar jail as bail expires

Delhi Chief arrives at Tihar Jail
Delhi Chief arrives at Tihar JailPhoto: ANI

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, turned himself in at Tihar jail on Sunday as his 21-day temporary bail, approved by the Supreme Court, expired. He was joined by his wife, Sunita Kejriwal, and daughter, Harshita Kejriwal, when he surrendered to the authorities. Subsequently, the Rouse Avenue Court remanded Kejriwal to judicial custody until June 5, 2024, in relation to a money laundering case associated with the purported Delhi liquor policy scandal.

Prior to his planned surrender, Kejriwal spoke to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members, taking inspiration from freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. He cited Singh's words: 'When power transforms into tyranny, then imprisonment becomes a duty.' Kejriwal further stated, 'Bhagat Singh was executed to liberate the nation. This time, as I head to jail, I am uncertain about my return. I am uncertain about their intentions towards me. If Bhagat Singh was hanged, I am also prepared to face the same fate. Every single drop of my blood, my entire life is devoted to this nation.'

The Delhi CM also questioned the BJP and Prime Minister Modi about his arrest, asserting that he is fighting against dictatorship. Referencing a recent interview where Modi allegedly called him an "experienced thief," Kejriwal responded, "Let's assume that I am an experienced thief, you don't have any proof or any recovery against me, so you put me in jail without any proof? How can you put me in jail according to your own wishes without any proof? I am fighting against this dictatorship, and our country cannot tolerate this kind of dictatorship."

Kejriwal also cast doubt on the exit polls that predict the BJP's return to power, labeling them as "fake." He suggested multiple motives behind these polls: "Many are saying that when the stock market opens tomorrow, they will earn profits and sell the stocks. Also, by conducting these fake exit polls, officers will be asked to do whatever they wish." He urged AAP workers to remain vigilant on counting day, advising them to "match VVPAT slips carefully" and report any discrepancies.

The case against Kejriwal dates back to March 21 when he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe related to alleged irregularities in the now-cancelled Delhi excise policy 2021-22. On May 10, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail till June 1 in this case, with the stipulation that he not visit the Office of the Chief Minister or the Delhi Secretariat. Now, as his interim bail has ended, Kejriwal faces a period of judicial custody that extends until June 5, 2024.

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