Just a day before Saturday’s Delhi assembly election, the CBI arrested Gopal Krishna Madhav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for taking bribe of Rs 2 lakh. This was supposedly an advance payment for an illicit deal he had made for Rs 10 lakh.
A war of words ensued between the BJP and AAP since the arrest. BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya tweeted, “Manish Sisodia’s OSD arrested taking bribe. (He has been working) in Sisodia’s office since 2015. The CBI arrested him in a GST case while he was receiving a bribe of Rs 2 lakh. A total amount of Rs 10 lakh had been fixed. The AAP government was exploiting such traders. Kejriwal is silent.”
In another tweet, Malviya said, “No OSD in a Deputy CM’s office can accept bribes without the knowledge of his political boss… There have been several allegations of corruption on Kejriwal and Sisodia in the past too… A party born of a movement to fight corruption will end corrupted.”
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia tweeted that he had come to know that CBI had arrested a GAC inspector taking bribe. This officer was also posted in his office as OSD, Sisodia admitted. “The CBI should immediately punish him severely. I have caught many such corrupt officials in the last five years,” he tweeted, but Malviya was not impressed.
In the third tweet, Malviya said, ” Till last evening, Lutyens media was like, “Omar is so sweet, why has PSA been slapped on him”. No such love for Mehbooba though… This morning, “Sisodia is innocent, he has no role in his OSD taking bribe…” Who will they defend by afternoon? Kejriwal?”
About three hours later, Malviya quoted the tweet of Sisodia, questioning why the Delhi deputy chief minister was referring to the OSD’s work in the past tense. “You must not have thought he would get caught when you sent him for extortion,” Malviya pinched.
In the CBI headquarters, CBI confirmed that Madhav had been posted in Sisodia’s office since 2015. Sources said Sisodia’s role in the case has not been established yet. The investigation is going on.
With the person who had opened fire at Shaheen Bagh turning out to be an AAP member–whose father later claimed the family was affiliated to the BSP and the photo with AAP leaders was a forced photo-op–and Sanjay Singh’s links with PFI surfacing, it may seem that these scandals are part of the calumny spread by rivals in every election season, but this is not the first time Sisodia faces a charge.
Earlier, Kabir, the NGO of Sisodia, had been accused of beginning to receive funds from abroad before being registered or getting an FCRA clearance. Ashwini Upadhyay, then the head of the legal cell of AAP, had made this allegation much before joining the BJP. Upadhyay alleged that then Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of the INC-led UPA dispensation had helped Sisodia get the money before his NGO was even registered.
Later on, The Times of India had done a story saying Sisodia used to divert the fund for Kabir for personal use. Sampoorn Parivartan (later christened Parivartan) of Arvind Kejriwal and Kabir of both Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia used to receive money from CIA’s front Ford Foundation those days.