Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh was arrested on Wednesday following a raid conducted by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy. Singh, 51, becomes the third AAP leader to face arrest in this matter.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday morning raided AAP MP Sanjay Singh's home in connection with a money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy, officials said.
History of the case and links to Singh
There are allegations that the 2021-22 excise policy of the Delhi government, which involved granting licenses to liquor traders, may have facilitated cartelization and favored specific dealers who were accused of making illicit payments. The AAP vehemently denies these allegations. Consequently, the policy was revoked, and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi recommended a CBI investigation. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate initiated a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in response to this recommendation.
The investigating agency has asserted that Sanjay Singh, who was apprehended under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, had a pivotal role in shaping and executing the policy that has since been discontinued. This policy was purportedly advantageous to specific liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.
Back in May of this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a chargesheet against the former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who had been arrested. The chargesheet indicated that a restaurateur named Dinesh Arora shared a very close association with both Singh and Sisodia.
In July, Arora was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which contended that he played a crucial role in the case. The agency alleged that in 2020, Arora received a phone call from the AAP MP, wherein it was conveyed that the Delhi assembly elections were approaching, and the AAP required financial support.
Opposition slams Singh's arrest
AAP leader Atishi, who became the Minister of Education in Delhi govt after Sisodia's arrest, slammed the BJP-led central government for arresting Singh.
"Who knows how much more the fear of BJP people will make them fall low.. Before the elections, their panic of losing from INDIA is clearly visible. After Manish ji and Satyendra ji, the raid Government also arrested Sanjay Bhaiya, who strongly raised the voice of the people. Why don't they open an ED office in our party office itself? It seems that they survive only by making false allegations against AAP," Atishi wrote.
PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti, reacting to Singh's arrest, said the BJP is trying to destroy the level playing field ahead of 2024 General Elections.
"Ruling party seems to be on an arresting spree only to destroy whatever is left of the level playing field in the run up to general elections. Central agencies are being weaponised & misused on BJPs behest. But then again its the same party that almost changed the name of this country owing to its insecurity about the INDIA alliance," Mufti wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Congress leader Meem Afzal, hitting out at the government over the arrest, said, "This is in accordance with the tendency of this Govt. Those who speak up and question will go behind bars...I don't find Sanjay Singh's arrest surprising. The way he speaks inside and outside the Parliament, gives interviews and openly challenges the PM and other leaders - it was certain that he had to go to jail. BJP is following this ritual these days."