NEW DELHI -- Under attack by a BJP lawmaker over Jitender Singh Tomar's alleged fake degrees, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today that he had acted against the former law minister, and now it was time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against two senior BJP leaders accused of aiding Lalit Modi in securing travel documents.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje are under fire for helping the former IPL commissioner, who is being investigated by Indian agencies for money laundering, and he is regarded as a fugitive from justice.
“We have come to power to offer clean governance. We will not tolerate any wrongdoing. I do not have any relations with any MLA or minister. We immediately removed him from the Cabinet. If things that have come in the media are true, then I think I was kept in dark (about Tomar’s degrees),” said Kejriwal in the Delhi Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, PTI reported.
"Mujhe dhoke mein rakha gaya (I was kept in the dark), but now I have taken strict action against my MLA...Mr. Modiji should also take action against Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje," he said, NDTV reported.
Chaos ensued in the Delhi Assembly after BJP's O.P. Sharma confronted Kejriwal over the Tomar's fake degrees, which have landed him in jail.
Sharma, who was marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly, demanded that degrees of all 70 lawmakers should be verified.
The episode of the fake degrees has been a huge embarrassment for the AAP government which had initially supported Tomar's claim that his degrees were authentic. Kejriwal accepted his law minister's resignation after he was arrested on charges of forgery and cheating on June 9.
Kejriwal was reportedly furious that Tomar convinced him of his degree being genuine by allegedly producing a forged Right To Information reply from a college in Uttar Pradesh where he claimed to have studied science.
Meanwhile, the Modi government has come under intense pressure from opposition parties to sack Swaraj and Raje. So far, however, BJP has thrown its support behind both leaders.
The first voice of dissent from the party position came today from BJP lawmaker R.K. Singh.
"Lalit Modi is an absconder and no one should help him. The government should file a case to revoke his passport. It is wrong on the part of others to help him. He should immediately be brought back, he's an offender. He should be ready to face law," Singh told CNN IBN.