BJP accuses Delhi CM Kejriwal of ‘Modi-phobia’
The BJP initially appeared taken aback by Arvind Kejriwal’s comments before it hit back at him for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward” and for not paying due diligence while appointing his principal secretary who, it said, has been “under shadow of suspicion”.
Sources said the party leadership, however, feels the raids were wrongly timed. Party chief Amit Shah, who met cabinet ministers and senior party leaders separately, discussed it with them. The Congress has already been stalling proceedings in the Rajya Sabha alleging that the Prime Minister’s Office was behind fresh developments in the National Herald case including court summons to its top leadership.
Asked to comment on the allegation about the Centre targeting Kejriwal, a Union minister responded with a counter-question: “Do you think the government will order this raid in the midst of a Parliament session, when its important business is stuck?”
The government, however, did defend the CBI action.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu charged Kejriwal with “Modi-phobia” and said his statements reflected “hypocrisy at its worst.” Naidu reminded Kejriwal of the AAP resolution that no prior permission from the government should be required for raiding an officer charged with corruption. In the case of bureaucrat Rajendra Kumar, the minister said, the CBI had acted on a 2007 complaint.
“Arvind Kejriwal should apologise to the prime minister for using words like ‘coward’. It is totally uncalled for, unwarranted, shameful and condemnable,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference held at the party head quarters.
Prasad hit back at Kejriwal “who emerged as a leader with his anti-graft campaign” for not checking the past records of his principal secretary. The CBI raid was done after a search warrant was issued by the competent court, he said.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar echoed, “Arvind Kejriwal’s reaction on the CBI raid is atrocious. CBI raids only when they receive a credible complaint and they want to investigate the corruption matter. Kejriwal is protecting corruption. And instead of immediately taking action against his officials, he is accusing the prime minister. This is the worst kind of politics.”