Arvind Kejriwal Arrested on March 21 Ignite Intense Debate: Unrest in Delhi’s Political Sphere
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Arvind Kejriwal Arrested on March 21 Ignite Intense Debate: Unrest in Delhi’s Political Sphere

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Arvind Kejriwal, the prominent opposition politician, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged corruption case. This move comes just weeks before India’s general election, and opposition parties claim it is a political maneuver by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi1. Here are the key details:

Reason for Arrest:

The ED is investigating allegations related to an alcohol policy implemented by the Delhi government in 2022. This policy ended the government’s control over liquor sales in the capital and allegedly gave undue advantages to private retailers. However, the policy was subsequently withdrawn.

AAP’s Stance:

Leaders of Kejriwal’s party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), assert that no evidence of wrongdoing has emerged in the investigation.

Protests and Controversy: Kejriwal’s supporters and members of other opposition parties have staged protests outside his house, calling the arrest a political move by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad defended the action, emphasizing that it is part of the legal process against corruption.

General Election Context:

AAP, as part of an alliance formed by 26 opposition political parties, will contest the upcoming general election. Kejriwal’s reputation as a staunch critic of Prime Minister Modi and the BJP adds further significance to this arrest.

Despite the arrest, Kejriwal’s party maintains that he will continue as the chief minister, even if he has to run the government from inside jail. The situation remains tense, and the political landscape in Delhi is undoubtedly in turmoil.

Arvind Kejriwal's Arrest Sparks Debate: Political Turmoil in Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal’s Arrest Sparks Debate: Political Turmoil in Delhi (Image Source:Newzvilla)

How has this arrest affected Kejriwal’s popularity?

The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, has sparked significant debate and political turmoil. Here are the key points regarding its impact on his popularity:

Political Maneuver:

Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is seen by opposition parties as a political maneuver ahead of India’s general election. They claim it is an attempt by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to weaken the opposition.

Allegations and Denials:

The Delhi government’s alcohol policy has come under scrutiny as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launches an investigation. Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are facing allegations of using illicit funds for their political campaigns and showing favoritism towards certain alcohol vendors. Kejriwal vehemently denies these accusations, attributing them to political motives and dismissing them as unfounded.

Protests and Controversy:

Kejriwal’s supporters and other opposition parties have staged protests outside his house. They view the arrest as an attack on democratic processes. The AAP asserts that Kejriwal will continue as the Chief Minister, even if he has to run the government from inside jail.

Legal Battle:

The AAP has filed a case in the Supreme Court to petition for Kejriwal’s release. However, the BJP defends the ED’s action, emphasizing that it is part of the legal process against corruption.

Arvind Kejriwal’s Reputation:

Kejriwal, known for his anti-corruption stance, came into power promising transparency. His arrest adds to the political showdown between the AAP and the ruling BJP. Despite the situation, the AAP remains steadfast in its support for Kejriwal.

Arvind Kejriwal's arrest
Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest: Following an ED raid in New Delhi, India, on March 21, heavy security forces were stationed outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Image Source: Google)

What is the alcohol policy that Kejriwal’s government implemented?

Arvind Kejriwal’s administration in Delhi introduced a range of reforms concerning alcohol policy. One significant aspect was the implementation of measures to oversee the sale and consumption of alcohol within the city.

These policies included the enforcement of strict licensing criteria for vendors, placing limitations on the number of establishments permitted in specific regions, and initiatives aimed at combatting illicit sales and bootlegging activities. Additionally, there were endeavors to promote responsible drinking habits and tackle issues linked to alcohol misuse and addiction through educational campaigns and support initiatives.

In essence, Kejriwal’s government aimed to strike a delicate balance between regulating the alcohol industry and addressing the public health implications associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

Who are some others arrested in this case?

In addition to Arvind Kejriwal, several other individuals have been arrested in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. Notable among them is K Kavitha, a leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Kavitha was apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from her residence in Hyderabad. She is alleged to be a prominent member of the ‘South group,’ implicated in irregularities related to the excise policy. Currently, Kavitha remains in ED custody until March 23, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigation.

Another significant figure arrested in the case is Sanjay Singh, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a Rajya Sabha MP. His arrest by the ED marks a crucial development in the probe. Singh stands accused of being a “key conspirator” in the irregularities surrounding the Delhi excise policy and is purported to have collected kickbacks from the alleged scam, further deepening the legal entanglements surrounding the matter.

Furthermore, Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, has also faced legal repercussions in connection with the excise policy. Initially arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February 2023, Sisodia was later detained by the ED in March 2023 as part of its ongoing inquiry. He is accused of engaging in extra-procedural interference in shaping the new excise policy, allegedly favoring specific liquor entities and leading to substantial losses in excise revenue for the state exchequer. These allegations have added significant weight to the investigation and further complicated the political landscape in Delhi.

Moreover, Vijay Nair, the AAP’s communications in-charge, has also found himself embroiled in the controversy. Initially arrested by the CBI in September 2022, Nair was subsequently charged by the ED for his purported involvement in the liquor scam. He is accused of acting as a middleman between the ‘South Group’ and facilitating kickbacks to facilitate their entry into the liquor retail segment in the capital. These arrests have heightened tensions in the political arena, drawing both supporters and critics’ attention as they closely monitor the unfolding developments surrounding the Delhi excise policy case.


In conclusion, Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest has spurred a contentious discussion and caused political unrest in Delhi. The accusations made against him have questioned the legitimacy of the political system and clouded his leadership. Maintaining the values of accountability and transparency is crucial going forward in order to rebuild the public’s faith in the political system.

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