New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was questioned for nearly nine hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today in the liquor policy case. He was questioned as a witness in the case which investigators said involved corruption in framing the policy to benefit a liquor lobby. He hasn't been summoned for further questioning by the central agency so far.
"The CBI asked me a total of 56 questions. Everything is fake. The case is fake. I am convinced they don't have anything on us, not a single piece of evidence," Mr Kejriwal told reporters after reaching home from the CBI headquarters near central Delhi's Lodhi Road.
Mr Kejriwal's ex deputy Manish Sisodia, who held the excise portfolio, was arrested in the same case last month.
"The CBI asked me everything starting from 2020, the year the liquor policy came into force, to the end of it," Mr Kejriwal said, adding he will discuss more in the special session of the Delhi assembly called by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government tomorrow.
"This liquor policy case is a lie, fabricated. Honesty is our ideology. We are willing to die but won't compromise with honesty. They are doing all this to defame us and our good, development work. We have become a national party now, which is why they are doing this to end us," Mr Kejriwal told reporters.
While Mr Kejriwal was being questioned by the CBI, the AAP called an emergency meeting of senior leaders this evening amid concerns that he could be arrested, news agency ANI reported quoting sources.
AAP leaders including Raghav Chadha and Sanjay Singh were detained by the Delhi Police for protesting near the CBI's office near central Delhi's Lodhi Road today. They were freed as soon as Mr Kejriwal stepped out of the CBI office.
"BJP suffers from Kejriwal phobia. It is because of Kejriwal's fear that the BJP has come down to such an act. It is a cowardly act. We are not scared of jail," Mr Chadha said.
The excise policy was cleared by the Delhi government after an inquiry was ordered by the then Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The clearance came after it had been deferred twice. The CBI wants to find out why.
The Delhi government scrapped the new liquor policy in July 2022, less than a year after it was introduced, and reverted to the old policy.