Jaitley accuses Kejriwal of spreading ‘falsehoods’
Hitting back at Arvind Kejriwal over the DDCA row, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused him of spreading “false propaganda”, saying he seems to believe in untruth and defamation and delivers a language that borders on hysteria.
Mr. Jaitley also attacked West Bengal and Bihar chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar for supporting Mr. Kejriwal, saying “they need to redeem themselves” by publicly distancing from the Delhi chief minister’s vocabulary.
The Finance Minister said by referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, Mr. Kejriwal cannot drag him in the Delhi cricket body case as he left cricket administration in 2013.
Attacking Mr. Kejriwal for the language used by him against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of CBI searches on an officer in his secretariat, he said a state or UT by its “unacceptable conduct” can also be a threat to federalism.
“Free speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent fundamental right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria,” he said on his Facebook blog entitled “Falsehood as free speech.”
He said Mr. Kejriwal alleged that the search on an officer close to him is a violation to the federal structure of Constitution and has used some “unacceptable adjectives” against the Prime Minister.
Mr. Jaitley said Mr. Kejriwal has questioned the purpose of the search and tried to divert attention by linking it to the Delhi cricket body rather than alleged corruption.
“Federalism is not a one way stream. It is not always that the Union Government challenges the spirit of federalism. A State or a Union Territory, by its unacceptable conduct, can also be a threat to federalism,” he said on his blog.
Mr. Jaitley added that the DDCA case “is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourself are in the dock” and accused Mr. Kejriwal of focussing attention on him after he acted as a shield to cover an officer under investigation.
“I have left cricket administration in 2013. By referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, he can’t drag me in,” he said, terming allegations against him as unsubstantiated and non-specific.
The Finance Minister said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which was entrusted with the investigations in the case by the previous UPA government, has clearly stated that “no fraud (was) noticed as alleged” and his role as DDCA president was “like a non-executive chairman without involvement in day-to-day affairs of the company.”
Jaitley should resign or be removed: Kejriwal
Responding to the statement of Mr. Jaitley, Mr. Kejriwal, in a series of tweets asked if the Finance Minister’s denial in press be taken as “gospel truth”?
“Allegations against Jaitley ji r v v serious. (sic) Amounts involved r huge. He shud either resign or be removed to enable independent probe,” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.
“If Jaitley ji were let off without investigations on basis of his press denial, then shud all coal n 2G accused also be similarly let off?,” he further questioned.