Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal called conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar the 'star campaigner' of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said the party should make him its national president.
Kejriwal on Saturday said the BJP should make Chandrashekhar its party chief as he was speaking the same language as the BJP.
During a press conference, Kejriwal said the BJP had brought Chandrashekhar in their fold as a star campaigner.
He said, "The BJP demands my lie-detector test and even Sukesh Chandrshekhar makes the same demand. They speak the same language. He is fully trained to join the BJP now."
Kejriwal's comments come after a series of letters by Chandrashekhar in which he has alleged that Kejriwal asked him to collect funds for the party and he gave crores of rupees to AAP.
Kejriwal added, "I have heard that Modi ji's roadshows are not drawing crowds. They should bring Sukesh Chandrshekhar to those roadshows. He has so many stories of how he cheated people that the crowd will just come to watch and listen to his stories. In fact, he should be made the BJP'S national president."
In his latest letter, Chandrashekhar claimed that Kejriwal asked him to collect Rs 500 crore for the party and jailed minister Satyendar Jain threatened him. The AAP rejects these charges.
What has Sukesh Chandrashekhar said?
Chandrashekhar has written multiple letters to Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, accusing Kejriwal and Jain of corruption and extortion.
Chandrashekhar also claimed that he gave more than Rs 50 crore to the AAP which promised to nominate him to Rajya Sabha and after that Kejriwal attended a dinner party with Jain hosted by Chandrashekhar in 2016.
In a letter to Saxena, Chandrashekhar had alleged that Jain extorted Rs 10 crore in 2019 for his "safety" in the prison. He has also alleged that Jain, along with the former Tihar Director General Sandeep Goel, threatened him after his letter to the LG became public. He has also claimed that he has submitted another complaint to the LG detailing the allegations of corruption against Kejriwal, Jain, and another AAP minister Kailash Gahlot.
Chandrashekhar alleged that Kejriwal forced him to bring "over 20 people to contribute Rs 500 crore towards his party".
"If you think I am the biggest 'thug', why did you accept Rs 50 crore from me," he asked Kejriwal.
Chandrashekhar has alleged that he gave more than Rs 50 crore to AAP which promised to give Chandrashekhar an important post in the party in South Zone and also help him get nominated to Rajya Sabha following the expansion. He has alleged that after his arrest in 2017 for the 'two leaf symbol corruption case', he was lodged in Tihar Jail and was visited by Jain, who held the portfolio of the Jail ministry multiple times, asking him if he had disclosed anything related to his contribution to AAP to the investigating agency.
"Thereafter in 2019 again I was visited by Satyender Jain and his Secretary and his close friend Sushil in jail, and asked me to pay Rs two crore every month to him as protection money to live safely in Jail, and to get even basic facilities," Chandrashekhar alleged.
Chandrashekhar claimed that Jain "asked me to pay Rs 1.50 crore to DG prison Sandeep Goel, who he said was a loyal associate of his. He forced me to pay and the total amount of Rs 10 crore in a matter of 2 to 3 months was extorted from me through constant pressure". He added that all the money was collected in Kolkata through his associate.
"Hence a total amount of Rs 10 crore was paid to Satyender Jain, and Rs 12.50 crore to DG prison Sandeep Goel," the letter alleged, adding that Chandrashekhar had told the Enforcement Directorate about it.
Goel was transferred from the Tihar Jail here, days after Chandrashekhar made the allegations, and the 1989-batch AGMUT cadre officer has been Jail and asked to report to the police headquarters (PHQ) for further orders. Sanjay Beniwal, a 1989-batch IPS officer, replaced him.
Political reactions to Sukesh Chandrashekhar's letters
The BJP and AAP have sparred over Chandrashekhar's letters. The BJP has portrayed it as yet another example of AAP's corruption and the AAP has rejected these letters and has said it's yet another attempt by the BJP to sully its imaged, which it already alleges to be using investigative agencies for their advantage.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Delhi Police have multiple ongoing investigations against AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Jain, and Amanatullah Khan. The AAP alleges that agencies are being used by the BJP-led Union government to pressurise AAP.
The BJP has demanded a CBI probe and a lie detector test of Kejriwal and Jain in the wake of Chandrashekhar's claims.
AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia earlier alleged that the BJP had struck a deal with the "conman sitting in Tihar".
He will level absurd allegations against Kejriwal every day and in return, the BJP will help him in the case, he tweeted.
Senior AAP leader Atishi alleged that after the failures of the ED, CBI, the Income Tax, LG, and the Delhi Police, the BJP has turned to the country's "biggest conman" for help against the AAP.
Atishi said Chandrashekhar has become the "star campaigner" of the BJP. She claimed he will be released from the jail before MCD polls in Delhi and Gujarat and join the party. She further claimed the BJP is scared of losing Gujarat and MCD polls so they are making baseless allegations against AAP every day.
Ahead of the Gujarat elections, where AAP has turned the traditional bipolar electoral contest into a triangular one, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, the BJP is targeting AAP's clean image.
Outlook earlier reported, "For the last few months, the BJP has been targeting frequent salvos at the Arvind Kejriwal government for its alleged corruption related, first in the Delhi Excise Policy and then in deals related to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
"Political observers point out that attacking AAP on the ground of corruption is an effort to change the narratives of the new politics that Kejriwal brought with him through Lokpal movement...Interestingly, the emergence of Kejriwal as the main political opponent was also dependent on his anti-corruption plank."
(With PTI inputs)