Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the CBI raids on his deputy, Manish Sisodia, came on “orders from above”, intended to create obstacles for the Aam Aadmi Party’s ‘Make India Number 1’ mission.
In a video posted on Twitter, shortly after the Central Bureau of Investigation began searches at the residence of Sisodia, Kejriwal described Sisodia as “India’s best education minister” as he waved a front page report in the New York Times praising the Delhi government’s effort to improve public school education.
The Delhi CM asserted that Friday’s raids would turn out to be as futile as similar actions in the past against ministers of his government and that his party and government would not be deterred from continuing with the good work it is doing.
“Many obstacles will be created… This is not the first raid on Sisodia; there were raids in the past too. There have been raids also on many of our ministers and me too, but nothing came out of them and nothing will come out this time as well,” Kejriwal said.
“There is no need to panic… The CBI has been asked from above to harass us,” he said, pointing out that the raids came on a day the biggest newspaper in America published an article praising the Delhi education model.
“Delhi has made India proud. The Delhi model is on the front page of the biggest newspaper of the US. Manish Sisodia is the best education minister of independent India,” he said in the video.
“In a way, he has been declared the best education minister in the world.”
In the news report titled “Our Children are worth it”, published on the front page of its international edition dated August 18, the New York Times said the AAP government’s “overhaul of public schools in India’s capital has students clamouring to enroll.” The story was accompanied by a photograph of Sisodia with students of a government school.
Calling the NYT report a divine intervention, Kejriwal said the powers of the universe are with India.
“Day before yesterday, we announced our mission to make India number one in the world and yesterday, the NYT article was published. The realisation of the dream has started — it will take time and effort but we will do it,” he said.
On Wednesday, Kejriwal had announced his national mission to ‘Make India Number 1″ in the world, by providing free education and healthcare, fair price to farmers for their produce, employment for youth and respect and equality for women.
The CBI on Friday morning carried out searches at the residences of Sisodia and IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna and 19 other locations after registering an FIR in connection with the Delhi excise policy, officials said.
Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena last month recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22. He had also suspended 11 excise officials in the matter. Sisodia had also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy.
Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain was arrested on May 30 by the Enforcement Directorate under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is currently in judicial custody.