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Is Kejriwal’s megalomania getting the better of him in the Sisodia bungalow affair?

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with former deputy CM Manish Sisodia (Photo: Twitter)

Within three weeks—since Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested for his alleged involvement in the liquor excise scam, his boss and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) high command Arvind Kejriwal has allotted his official bungalow on Mathura Road, right at the heart of the city, to Atishi Marlena, who was recently inducted as a Minister. The unusually nimble move by Kejriwal, who visited Sisodia’s wife after his arrest and promised to take care of her, has raised many eyebrows. Sisodia’s family will have to vacate the bungalow by March 21. 

Kejriwal, who has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Sisodia’s arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), will find it tough to explain the logic behind allotting his former lieutenant’s bungalow to Marlena in such a quick time span.

Not just that. Sisodia, who has been taken to Tihar Jail, has been complaining of being continuously troubled by the authorities. Sisodia’s claim may embarrass AAP even more as the Department of Prisons comes under the Delhi government though the party claimed that BJP is conspiring to kill the former Deputy CM in Tihar Jail.

Last year, leaked CCTV footages showed arrested AAP leader Satyendar Jain lying on a bed in the same Tihar Jail, getting a foot massage. The Enforcement Directorate also claimed that Jain was getting special treatment in the jail premises.

Kejriwal, just yesterday, said that Modi was planning to slap several false cases against Sisodia and keep him in custody.

“Manishji is an honest man..the whole country is witnessing how he worked for the poor. He completely overhauled the education sector,” he said, adding that Sisodia was fighting for the country.

But with Kejriwal’s move to allocate Sisodia’s bungalow to Marlen affairs has once again put the former in the spotlight.

Following Sisodia’s arrest, there have been murmurs in several quarters that it was Kejriwal himself who played a role in the episode.

Small wonder, the BJP made similar allegations and said that Kejriwal leaked information about Sisodia’s alleged involvement in the liquor scam. Addressing a press conference BJP MP Pravesh Verma said that it is possible that Kejriwal may have been threatened by Sisodia’s growing popularity and therefore wanted him out.

“Arvind Kejriwal is a mastermind. He does not sign any papers because he doesn’t have any department with him. Whenever there is corruption, Arvind Kejriwal takes the spoils and sends his ministers to jail to show how honest he is,” he said.

Sisodia, who was handling as many as 18 ministries including finance, education, labour, health and home, tendered his resignation following his arrest.

The AAP was born as a movement by a group of eminent citizens including political activist Yogendra Yadav, senior Supreme Court Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, journalist Ashutosh, Founder of low cost carrier Air Deccan Captain GR Gopinath among others. Many of them including Yadav and Bhushan, co-founders of the party were later expelled.

Also read:  ED arrests Sisodia after questioning him at Tihar Jail in slush money case

Explainer: Why the CBI has arrested Manish Sisodia