In a fresh blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the ongoing investigation into the Delhi liquor policy. The arrest follows a series of raids at his residence in Delhi early on Wednesday morning.
This development marks the third major arrest of an AAP member in recent times. Last year, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain was arrested on money laundering charges, alleging links to four companies. In February of the current year, former Deputy Chief Minister and close associate of Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.
The ED’s move against Sanjay Singh came after businessman Dinesh Arora, an accused in the case who later turned ‘approver,’ named the AAP leader and claimed that Singh had introduced him to Manish Sisodia, who was the excise minister at the time.
The search operations at Singh’s residence lasted for several hours, during which AAP workers gathered outside and raised slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the alleged “misuse” of investigative agencies. Additional police personnel were deployed to maintain order.
Sanjay Singh has been taken to the ED office, where his statement will be recorded. It is expected that he will be produced in court on Thursday afternoon, and the ED is likely to seek his custody.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal voiced his support for his colleague during the raids, indirectly accusing the BJP of attempting to derail rivals ahead of the upcoming general elections. Kejriwal stated, “For a year, we have been hearing noise about the alleged liquor scam. More than 1,000 raids have been conducted and not a single paisa was recovered. They just keep alleging ‘scam’… I did a lot of investigation and found nothing.”
Raghav Chadha, another prominent AAP leader, echoed similar sentiments, accusing the BJP of political vendetta. “They have been investigating the case for 15 months but have not been able to unearth even a single rupee of illegal money. This is just a political vendetta. The BJP knows it is losing,” he said.
Notably, the ED had never named Sanjay Singh as an accused in the case or summoned him for questioning. Earlier, Singh had posted a photo on social media standing next to posters outside his home “welcoming” the Enforcement Directorate to his “poor house.”
Sanjay Singh’s father, Dinesh Singh, expressed confidence in his family’s cooperation with the authorities, stating, “I told Sanjay not to worry, and that the truth will win. We are not worried about his arrest.”
The investigation into the Delhi liquor policy case involves both the CBI and the ED. The policy, introduced in November 2021, saw the government withdraw from retail liquor sales, allowing private licensees to operate stores. In July 2022, Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar raised concerns about gross policy violations and alleged “undue benefits” to liquor licensees.
The Delhi liquor policy and the alleged “corruption” surrounding it have been a source of contention between the BJP and the AAP, as well as between Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and the Delhi government. The arrests of AAP leaders have further escalated political tensions in the region.
Sources By Agencies