Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 6 News List

Delhi’s chief minister slams Modi over secretariat raid

AFP, NEW DELHI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday accused his arch-rival and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of waging a political vendetta, branding Nodi a “psychopath” after federal investigators raided his administration’s headquarters.

The minister, who founded and leads the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party, is a bitter opponent of Modi and the pair have clashed repeatedly in recent months.

A spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) confirmed officers had sealed off several offices in the Delhi secretariat where Kejriwal is based, although officials denied the move was politically motivated.

Kejriwal said his own office was among the rooms raided although the CBI denied this was the case.

News of the raid was broken by Kejriwal himself, who posted on Twitter that “CBI raids my office” and then accused Modi of being “a coward and a psychopath” who could not “handle me politically.”

India television cited sources in the bureau as saying the raid targeted Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.

A spokesman for the bureau gave few details, but insisted that Kejriwal’s own office had not been targeted.

“We are investigating a case against a staffer from the chief minister’s office,” spokesman R.K. Gaur said. “Our team didn’t raid the chief minister’s office, but restricted entry to certain areas.”

The issue triggered chaos in parliament where Indian Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley, one of Modi’s closest allies, told protesting members repeatedly that “the raid has nothing to do with Mr Arvind Kejriwal” and ridiculed the idea it was politically motivated.

“There is a corruption case complaint with the CBI against one officer attached to the office of the chief minister,” he told the upper house of parliament, his voice nearly drowned out by his opponents.

“The search is in relation to a case for an alleged offence committed in his capacity before he joined the office of Mr Kejriwal,” he said, adding that 14 other places had been searched in connection with the case.

Kejriwal immediately retorted on Twitter, saying Jaitley “lied in parliament.”

Kejriwal and Modi stood against each other in last year’s general election in the Varanasi constituency. Kejriwal lost but then oversaw a dramatic landslide victory over Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party in polls in January. for the Delhi state assembly.

Kejriwal has also been pushing to be given control of the police force operating in Delhi in line with other state administrations, but his calls have been rebuffed by the prime minister.

There was no immediate reaction from Modi, who is himself usually a prolific Twitter user.

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