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Business News/ Politics / News/  Arvind Kejriwal arrested: Will it unite INDIA bloc ahead of Lok Sabha polls 2024
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Arvind Kejriwal arrested: Will it unite INDIA bloc ahead of Lok Sabha polls 2024

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has joined the league of Opposition leaders arrested by central agencies in the recent past. Two of his former ministers - Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain - and a Rajya Sabha member from his party, Sanjay Singh, are also in jail.

Arvind Kejriwal arrested: The Delhi CM has joined the league of Opposition leaders arrested by central agencies in the recent past.Premium
Arvind Kejriwal arrested: The Delhi CM has joined the league of Opposition leaders arrested by central agencies in the recent past.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on March 21 sparked a unanimous condemnation from the leaders of the Opposition, most of them accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) of vindictive misuse of central agencies.

Kejriwal, 55, was arrested weeks before the Lok Sabha elections 2024. His Aam Aadmi Party is contesting elections as part of the INDIA bloc, an amalgamation of opposition parties, putting up a united fight against the BJP in the upcoming general elections.

Follow LIVE UPDATES about Arvind Kejriwal's arrest here

Kejriwal has joined the league of Opposition leaders arrested by central agencies in the recent past. Two of his former ministers - Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain - and a Rajya Sabha member from his party, Sanjay Singh, are also in jail.

In fact, Kejriwal is the second opposition chief minister to be arrested by the ED in the last two months. Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was arrested by the agency on January 31 in a different case. On March 15, K Kavitha, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader and daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was also arrested by the ED over her alleged money laundering role in the same case.

The arrest of Kejriwal, a key figure of the INDIA bloc, came hours after the top leadership of Congress, the principal opposition party of the country, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of crippling the party financially by freezing its bank accounts in connection with an ongoing tax dispute. It also comes on the heels of the release of State Bank of India-provided data on political donations made by companies and individuals through now-scrapped electoral bonds.

Unsurprisingly, the ruling BJP received the lion’s share of funds - 6,986.5 crore. The Opposition, which is also benefited from the donation, has focussed its attack on the allegation of ‘quid pro quo’ against the ruling party.

Also Read: From an anti-graft crusader to a CM behind bars: The political journey of Arvind Kejriwal in 5 points

Since June 2023, when the INDIA bloc came to being, the alliance has battled disagreements within on issues such as seat-sharing and desertion of some key players, including Nitish Kumar and Jayant Chaudhary. 

Under these circumstances when the general elections are scheduled to begin on April 19, Kejriwal's arrest could be yet another opportunity for the Opposition - led by the Congress - to target the ruling dispensation over a host of issues, including the charge of vendetta politics.

As of now leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, MK Stalin, and Akhilesh Yadav, to name a few, have condemned Arvind Kejriwal's arrest. What, however, remains to be seen is whether this will help the beleaguered opposition to build a campaign narrative in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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Published: 22 Mar 2024, 02:55 PM IST
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