NEW DELHI: Delhi minister and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi alleged on Tuesday that the BJP and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are targeting her, along with Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, MLA Durgesh Pathak and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, as they want to arrest them.

The minister was quoted by the Indian Express as saying she was “threatened” to join the BJP if she did not wish to be arrested within the next month.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, curiously after the prosecution did not oppose the bail, reports said.

Accusing the BJP of trying to topple the AAP and the Delhi government, she said: “After arresting four of our senior leaders — Satyendar Jain, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal — the BJP is conspiring to arrest four more leaders of the AAP.

Atishi says four more party leaders will be arrested soon

They (BJP), thought AAP will fall with the arrest of CM Arvind Kejriwal and the senior leadership. Now as they have realized, it is not going to happen, they are targeting us.”

The arrests of two serving chief ministers — of Delhi and Jharkhand — by the Modi government’s ‘agencies’ were at the heart of a mammoth opposition rally in Delhi on Sunday.

Atishi added: “They are going to arrest me, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak and Raghav Chadha. After the mega INDIA alliance rally on Sunday, the BJP is now scared… So, it is plotting to arrest the four senior leaders of the party that remain.”

The minister also alleged that the ED will soon raid these leaders’ homes and issue summons to them before making the arrests. “I have also been told that soon, the ED is going to raid my personal residence, my relative’s place, and after that four of us will be issued summons and will be subsequently arrested,” she said.

The minister alleges that she was approached by the BJP and “threatened” to join the party. “I have been approached by the BJP, through one of my close aides, to join their party.

They are also threatening me with the fact that if I do not join the party, I will be arrested by the ED in the next one month and my political career and future will end… They reached out to one of my close associates with this offer and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP want to topple and destroy the AAP,” she said.

“I want to tell the BJP that AAP leaders are not going to get scared of your threats. We are soldiers of Arvind Kejriwal and followers of Bhagat Singh!

“We will die and suffer but will fall into your trap and join the BJP. You can arrest all our leaders, all MLAs, but we will not stop our fight.”

Hitting back, Delhi BJP secretary Harish Khurana said, “A new day, a new manohar kahani (beautiful story); Atishi has tried to spread media sensation once again… It is a challenge Atishi-ji — give us a name or a BJP delegation or we will once again file a police complaint against you.”

“You are making such allegations because Arvind Kejriwal, your topmost leader, is in jail for corruption at the honourable court’s directions.

“For 14 months, Manish Sisodia has been in jail as per court directions. Sanjay Singh, Vijay Nair, Kavitha are in jail not because of ED’s orders on the directions of honourable courts,” Khurana added.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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