Arrest of Delhi chief minister triggers protests ahead of India's elections

(Xinhua) 16:25, March 22, 2024

NEW DELHI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Workers and supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or Common Man Party, on Friday protested against arrest of its chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his alleged role in the controversial Excise Policy Scam in 2021.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested Kejriwal Thursday night after questioning him for hours at his official residence amid tight security.

Several ministers in the Delhi government were also detained by Delhi police on Friday while protesting along with hundreds of AAP supporters. AAP officials and workers were heard chanting slogans against the federal government for "killing democracy."

During the day, judges of the Supreme Court of India are likely to hear a plea from the AAP.

It was alleged that Kejriwal was involved in receiving nearly 1 billion Indian rupees (around 12 million U.S. dollars) for awarding contracts for sale of liquor in Delhi after announcing the new Delhi Excise Policy in 2021.

The directorate had served several summonses to Kejriwal over the past couple of months asking him to appear before it for questioning in the alleged scam. But he evaded the summons saying the directorate had no authority to summon or question him without any credible evidence.

Meanwhile, similar protests against Kejriwal's arrest were also reported in Chennai, the capital city of the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The political developments assume significance as the country will witness the general parliamentary elections from April 19. Voting in Delhi is scheduled to take place in the sixth phase on May 25.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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