NEW DELHI -- The intense turf war between the Centre and Delhi government, which has played out all year, took a sinister turn after the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ordering the Central Bureau of Investigation to raid his office on Tuesday, and accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of lying about the incident in parliament.
In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said that his office had been raided by the CBI, while calling Modi a "coward and psychopath."
As the controversy played out on Tuesday, observers questioned whether Kejriwal had jumped the gun in accusing the Modi government of targeting him especially after the CBI claimed that the Chief Minister's office was not touched, and the investigation was directed at a senior bureaucrat accused of corruption.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that Kejriwal apologise for his language against Modi, Aam Aadmi Party leaders described the raid as an attack on the federal structure.
Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called Kejriwal's language "shameful and condemnable."
Refusing to apologise for his language, the AAP chief claimed that the CBI was trying to find files on Jaitley in connection with the Delhi & District Cricket Association.
"Which file was CBI looking for in my office? DDCA files in which Arun Jaitley is in dock. I was about to order a commission of enquiry," he tweeted.
Jaitley rubbished Kejriwal's accusations of corruption when he led the DDCA for over 10 years till 2013.
On Tuesday morning, the CBI entered the premises of the Delhi Secretariat to search the office of Rajender Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, whose office is close to whether Kejriwal sits in the same building.
While BJP's rivals likened the raid to Emergency-styled measures and an attack on the federal structure, senior BJP leaders reiterated that the CBI operation was to bust the senior bureaucrat for alleged corruption.
A Right To Information query revealed that the Anti-Corruption Bureau received seven complaints against Rajendar Kumar, and one was forwarded to the CBI.
Over several years from 2002, Kumar, who joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1989, allegedly set up various companies to award work orders without issuing tenders, while he worked in the departments of health and education, resulting in financial losses.
Furore over the raid caused several disruptions during the Rajya Sabha session in which Jaitley tried to explain that the probe was directed at Kumar in relation to an offense he allegedly committed before working with Kejriwal.
"The raid has nothing to do with Mr. Arvind Kejriwal or his tenure as chief minister," he said.
Kejriwal accused Jaitley of lying, and insisted that the CBI was poking into his office files to gather evidence against him. Prasad questioned why the Chief Minister was defending someone facing corruption charges.
"A 2015 raid for a Sheila Dikshit corruption case from 2002. Wow, Modi ji," the Chief Minister said.
2002 में शीला दीक्षित के भ्रष्टाचार के मामले में 2015 में केजरीवाल पर CBI रेड। वाह मोदी जी।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
The CBI said that it conducted searches at several locations in the national capital and Uttar Pradesh including the Delhi secretariat and Kumar's house, recovering Rs13 lakh. PTI reported that Rs2.4 lakh was recovered from Kumar's residence.
Kejriwal's aides told NDTV: "Rajinder Kumar is one of our most trusted officers. To raid him is to raid the CM."
Mamata Di. This is undeclared emergency https://t.co/l1EQOTfrFy— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
My question -had Rajender not been my secretary, then wud he have been raided? No. Then who is the target- Rajender or me ?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
Modi is a coward and a psycopath— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2015
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