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Indian Opposition Leader Arvind Kejriwal Arrested Amid Alleged Corruption Probe

March 22, 2024
Arvind Kejriwal

Indian authorities arrested prominent opposition figure Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Thursday, just weeks before the country’s general election.

The Enforcement Directorate, India’s federal financial crime agency, detained Kejriwal at his residence regarding allegations surrounding a liquor policy enacted during his tenure as Delhi’s chief minister. He is accused of irregularities in the policy that privatized liquor sales in Delhi, allegedly providing favors to private retailers.

While the AAP denies any misconduct, Kejriwal’s arrest has sparked protests from his party and other opposition groups who claim it is politically motivated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The AAP says Kejriwal will continue his duties as Delhi’s chief minister, even from jail if necessary.

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The timing has fueled accusations that the arrest aims to undermine opposition voices ahead of the polls. However, senior BJP official Ravi Shankar Prasad defended the Enforcement Directorate’s actions as following due legal process against corruption allegations.

An outspoken Modi critic, Kejriwal sought an urgent Supreme Court hearing to nullify the arrest. The Congress party’s Delhi chief Arvinder Singh Lovely also criticized the timing as appearing politically driven.

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