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BJP veteran Shanta Kumar defends AAP’s Manish Sisodia, blames system

SHIMLA: Veteran BJP leader and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar on Wednesday lauded AAP leader Manish Sisodia for his ”clean image” but suggested that he might be “collecting money” for his party to fight elections.

Sisodia was arrested Sunday over alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

In remarks that could embarrass his own party, Shanta Kumar said the AAP formed its government in the national capital “right under the nose of the BJP government at the Centre”, after badly defeating the ruling party.

He said the AAP government worked for five years and then came back to power, calling it a “big achievement.” Sisodia became well known as a deputy chief minister with a clean image who did ”commendable work”, and is now in jail, the BJP leader said, according to a statement posted on Facebook.

Shanta Kumar said there have been charges and counter charges from both sides. It is also difficult to imagine that Sisodia may have been put in jail by the CBI without having committed any crime, he added.

He said the AAP leader is being accused of framing a liquor policy that brought profits to traders.

The Himachal leader said it appeared that “Sisodia is totally honest as an individual but might have done all this to collect money for the party and the elections”.

“In my opinion this is the truth, and if this is the truth, the country very seriously needs to take some new decisions,” he said in Hindi.

He argued that political parties take money from big business people, who make up for the amount through corruption with the help of the government that come to power.

After elections, the winning candidates file false expenditure accounts with the Election Commission, he charged. “How can everything be well in a country where democracy begins with black money and lies,” he said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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