Bengaluru, Dec 16: Dec 15 was quite an eventful day in Delhi with the Central Bureau of Investigation raiding the secretariat while probing a case against Principal Secretary, Rajender Kumar. This led to a volley of tweets and allegations by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal in which he accused the Union Government of dangling the CBI in front an elected government [Modi is a coward and a psychopath, says Arvind Kejriwal]
The CBI maintains that it never entered the office of the Chief Minister. Prithvi Reddy, a prominent leader of the Aam Admi Party who is also the spokesperson of the party says that the BJP still has not come to terms with its defeat in Delhi.
In this interview with OneIndia, Reddy says the union government is clearly barking up the wrong raid and there is more than what meets the eye where yesterday's raid was concerned.
Do you think that the reaction of the Aam Admi Party yesterday was bit extreme?
No I do not think so. My opinion is that when you call a thief a thief, none will have anything much to say. However when you insult and infringe of the working of probably one of the most honest governments and Chief Minister, one is bound to raise questions like we did yesterday.
The BJP is still sore about the loss in Delhi and hence they are running an agenda against us. The only thing I can see here is that the Union Government is trying to break down the machinery in Delhi.
If an officer accused of corruption was being investigated, why does AAP have a problem with that?
Let me begin by saying that there are new benchmarks that the Delhi government has set since Kejriwal took over as the Chief Minister. The government got information that one minister was asking for a bribe. We did not wait for the media or the police, but went ahead and asked him to resign. This is what I mean by benchmark.
Last week there was a complaint about a bureaucrat and it was we who filed a complaint against him and asked the CBI to investigate. We respect the CBI, but yesterday there was no logic in what happened. The allegations against the bureaucrat was not during the period of Kejriwal.
There was no chance that the files were available in the Chief Minister's office and hence we say that it was a clear agenda.
We expected that the CM could have intimated about this officer and propriety demands this. The Union Government has to respect an elected government. Our protest was not against the investigation but against the manner in which the government used the CBI to bully us.
Coming to the language, the use of words such as psychopath does not sound good when it comes from a Chief Minister. Moreover he was accusing the Prime Minister of the country. Do you condone this language?
Kejriwal himself said yesterday that his words may not have been appropriate. Now with that being said, can we speak about the incident? The focus was being shifted to the language rather than the actual incident yesterday.
The Delhi government has been accused of being confrontational. What are your thoughts?
Some people say that we are confrontational. There have been constant problems, first from the LG and then the Delhi police. In fact the Delhi High Court had come down heavily on the Delhi police.
Let me make it clear that we are building bridges and not burning them. We are working with the union government on Swachh Bharat and also the pollution issue.
What are your thoughts on the allegation made by Kejriwal that the CBI was searching for files pertaining to Arun Jaitley?
The Union Government is clearly barking up the wrong tree. We seriously suspect that there was more to the raid yesterday. It is in public domain that a case relating to the DDCA is being probed. Jaitley's name had come up in that probe.
Why did Kejriwal say his office was sealed when the CBI claimed that they never entered his chamber?
The Chief Minister's secretariat not only concerns his office, but those adjacent to it as well. The CBI was accessing files meant for the Chief Minister's attention. The point is not whether these files were on Kejriwal's table or in the room next to it.
The point is that the files were meant for the CM's attention. Any logical person would see that it was completely uncalled for.
Do you feel that the Centre is harassing the Delhi government?
Yes I do. There is no respect for federalism and without actually announcing it there is an emergency like situation. The typical method is to dangle the CBI. In this case there are no complaints about Kejriwal and hence they harass him.
People blame Kejriwal for not having a relationship with the centre. Your views on this?
First and foremost the government of India needs to stop the proxy war and respect the elected government. One one side they harass elected representatives and on the other they expect them to work together.
Everyone blames Kejriwal for not having a relationship with the centre. But there is a huge gap between what the Union Government is saying and doing.