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Did Defending Sisodia in Ahmedabad Instead of Delhi Help Kejriwal’s AAP? News18 Finds Out

On August 19, at 8 a.m., the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia.

Four hours later, as the raids on Sisodia’s residence continued and the party rallied behind their minister, AAP Chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed a digital press conference and started the front page article on Delhi’s education model published in the New York Times was published. with a photo of Education Minister Manish Sisodia.

“This means that Sisodia has been named the world’s best education minister, not just of Delhi or even the country,” Kejriwal said.

The entire lecture was devoted to how it is time to make India the number 1 country in the world, and only a few lines were devoted specifically to the raids on Sisodia’s house.

THE DAY OF THE RAIDS

“Today, Sisodia has been named the country’s top education minister and the CBI has reached his home. So there will be a lot of obstacles,” Kejriwal said. “Manish ji has been mugged so many times in the past seven years. This is not the first time, they filed many false cases against Manish ji, they raided me several times, they raided Satyendar Jain, Kailash Gahlot and so many of our people, but they found nothing. Even today they will find nothing. The CBI does its job, let the CBI do its job, there is nothing to be afraid of, they have orders from above to create obstacles,” Kejriwal said, briefly defending Sisodia, continuing that “despite obstacles, 130 crore Indians must come together to move the country forward.”

The AAP Covenant then chose the day of the CBI raids on Sisodia’s house to issue a number ‘9510001000’ so that people could make a missed call to participate in the ‘mission to make India No. 1 ‘. The CBI raids continued for 10 hours after the Delhi CM’s digital press conference, but the latter was not arrested as widely speculated that day.

Also read | BJP, AAP Spar on ‘Paid News’ Charge After NYT Report ‘Praises Sisodia’

THE GUJ MOMENT

Two days after the raids, the Delhi CM announced on Twitter that he and Sisodia would travel to Gujarat for two days the following Monday. It was in Gujarat, the state tied to the elections, where the AAP is working diligently to get through, where Kejriwal, in a strong political statement, mounted the strongest defense of his embattled colleague.

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On August 22, the AAP chief’s fifth visit to the state in August alone, the roads leading to Ahmedabad airport were lined with placards from Kejriwal and Sisodia, each occupying the same space. AAP supporters held large cutouts of the NYT article and banners and waited anxiously. It was in Ahmedabad where Kejriwal and Sisodia addressed the first joint press conference after the CBI raids. When asked about the alleged “offer”, Sisodia replied: “It was very shocking to me that I received a message, in fact there were two parts to that message; one is that you get relief from all the cases that have been submitted. by the CBI, ED etc. And second, to break the party and be the CM face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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An AAP supporter with a placard of the NYT article in Gujarat. (News18)

Sisodia had tweeted the allegation in Delhi, a little before boarding the flight to Ahmedabad.

At the same press conference, Kejriwal chose to defend Sisodia. “You should hand over the country’s education system to this person. He performed a miracle in five years. He did what traditional parties haven’t done in 70 years, improved government schools, gave a future to the children of the poor in this country. Instead you let the CBI raid him, aren’t you ashamed?’

Also read | ‘Here’s My Offer To Modi Govt…’: Kejriwal Counters ‘Freebie’ Conversation With ‘Dreams for Poor’, ‘Delhi Model’

The AAP chairman then said, “Such a person should get the Bharat Ratna.”

Kejriwal linked the raids to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Gujarat and said these raids will only take place until December. During the two days the duo spent in Gujarat, Sisodia told what exactly happened in the 14-hour robbery, how although the CBI agents behaved well, he was upset when they found his wife’s wardrobe and his guitar. searched his son.

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WORD ON THE GROUND

In Himmatnagar, when asked if Kejriwal is corrupt, as one of his ministers is in jail and another may be jailed soon, Babu bhai, a local resident, said: “Woh bhrasht nahi hai, aisa sab boltein hain [Everybody says he is not corrupt].”

Further press on whether he believed Sisodia was corrupt after CBI raids, Babu Bhai said: “Iske bare mein main bata nahi sakta, who Dilli mein rehetein hain, hum Gujarat mein rehtein hai [Can’t say much. They live in Delhi, I live in Gujarat].”

A middle-aged resident, Meera Behen, who works as a housekeeper, said all that mattered to her was the hope that the children of the poor would receive a good education and thus a future. “Bachchon ka bhavishya sudhar jaye toh humein aur kuch nahi chahiye,” she said.

Asked about the corruption allegations against the AAP ministers, she said: “Woh gunehgar nahi hai, bhagwan unke saath hai, Sisodia ke ghar par raid jaan bujh ke kia hai – who andar andar ke waale karate hain, chahe Bhajpa waale, chahe Congress waale [He is not guilty. It is the work of the insiders – be it from the BJP or Congress].”

Abhishek Banwadia, who was preparing for competitive exams, who attended the youth dialogue organized by the AAP on the same day, said that the Gujarat Subordinate Service Selection Board has been pending recruitment for three years, and there are many such recruitments pending. to be.

News18.com/ibnlive/uploads/2022/09/untitled-design-2022-09-04t195311.807.jpg” alt=”” width=”100%” height=”100%” class=”size-full wp-image-5889259″/>
An AAP supporter in Gujarat. (News18)

“You could say that the pandemic threw a spanner in the works for recruitment, but how did the elections in West Bengal go,” the young man asked. “We have a strong alternative to the BJP in the AAP,” Banwadia said.

Also read | Mission Gujarat of AAP chief Kejriwal takes off, BJP’s main challenger space looks set to land in 2022 polls

But what about the raids and allegations of corruption? “Why are the raids taking place only three months before the elections? Look at the elections in Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat or Punjab. Whenever the election approaches, the CBI and ED are being abused.”

Young AAP leaders like Raghav Chadha inspire the youth, he said.

Manthan Jain, another young man, said that now that the Congress show is seen as falling apart, people are looking to the AAP as an option. Jain also said that while it is easy for the AAP to get people excited, the BJP’s cyber cell is extremely strong and it would be a real challenge for the AAP to get past it. Asked if he thought Kejriwal and Sisodia are corrupt after the CBI raids, Jain replied: “No, no, no, it doesn’t necessarily mean that. This is politics, they like to do this kind of politics, some party is behind this, people are watching. Let’s see where Indian politics is going.”

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THE WAR OF WORDS

Back in Delhi, speaking during the confidence vote in the Delhi Assembly, the AAP chief said that after the CBI raids, the AAP’s vote share in Gujarat had increased by 4% and by the time Sisodia is arrested, it would increase by 6%. .

Asked why the AAP Covenant chose Gujarat to defend its deputy, BJP Gujarat spokesman Dr. Rutvij Patel: “The elections are just around the corner, so it makes sense for him to elect Gujarat. He will use a trial and error method everywhere, but this is Gujarat. People in Gujarat have seen the administration of Modi ji. The BJP has done a good job here and apart from Delhi and Punjab, the AAP has not been able to gain a foothold anywhere else. As for Gujarat, yahan toh woh bilkul bhi nahi challenge. He comes and goes, but he doesn’t get the support of the public. The BJP is poised for a ‘historic victory’ in Gujarat this year.”

Sambit Patra, BJP spokesman, hit back, saying that if that is indeed the case, “Send Mr. Kejriwal Sisodia himself to jail” as that will further increase the AAP’s vote share. Patra targeted the AAP chief for indulging in “drama” to divert people’s attention from the alleged drinking scam.

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