Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Sunday slammed the BJP for "targeting" AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, saying it is scared of the Delhi chief minister's "rising popularity".
Kejriwal was on Sunday questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy case amid protests by his party as the AAP chief accused the agency of acting at the behest of the BJP.
The Delhi chief minister was summoned as a witness and is not an accused in the excise policy case in which his former deputy Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26. Sisodia was last month arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED)and is in judicial custody.
Cheema condemned the BJP-led Centre for summoning Kejriwal and dubbed it a "murder of democracy".
"Today, the BJP's dictatorial attitude has been exposed before the people," he told reporters.
Cheema also made a reference to the AAP gaining the status of 'national party' from the Election Commission.
"We are gaining the support of people wherever we are fighting elections. In just 10 years, the AAP has (formed) governments in two states.
"It got 13 per cent and 6 per cent vote share in Gujarat and Goa, respectively. The BJP is scared of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Kejriwal," he said.
The common people are with the AAP as they like the party's pro-people policies. The traditional parties deprived the common people of quality education and health care for 70 years, he added.
Kejriwal in Delhi was the first to make these possible and within the reach of the common and poor people. Now, the Bhagwant Mann government in Punjab is doing the same for the people of the state, Cheema added.
The Punjab minister also accused the BJP government of misusing central agencies such as the CBI and the ED against opposition leaders.
"Today, leaders who made the education and health revolution a reality -- Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain -- are in jail in false cases," he alleged. Cheema, who also holds the Excise portfolio, said the same policy implemented in Punjab led to a 41 per cent jump in revenues from liquor.
"If it was not a good policy, then how come the revenue increased so much?" he asked while accusing the BJP of not wanting to end the liquor mafia in the country.
Cheema said the people of Punjab will give the BJP a befitting reply in the upcoming Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll, scheduled for May 10.
He urged the electorate to only vote for those working for the common people and have an agenda of development.
- With PTI Input