Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the arrest of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia urging him to dispel the perception that the AAP leader was being targeted for political reasons. The CBI arrested Sisodia on February 26 in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22. Vijayan, in his letter, said the arrest of Sisodia has "lent further force to the argument" about certain actions of the central investigation agencies. The Chief Minister said there was no incriminating evidence like cash seizure in the case of Sisodia.
Vijayan said the AAP leader is an elected representative of the people and has been appearing before the investigating agencies in response to their summons. "Unless the arrest was imperative for preventing the impediment to the investigation, the desirable act would have been to avoid it. As per information coming out in the public domain, nothing incriminating like cash seizure has taken place in the case of Sisodia. While the law has to take its course, it is equally important that the widespread perception that Sisodia is being targeted for political reasons need to be dispelled," Vijayan said in his letter.
The CPI(M) leader said any excessive actions on part of anyone concerned should be avoided as the emphasis should be on the principle of cooperative federalism. Vijayan, while refraining from commenting on the merits of the case under investigation, said the arrest of Sisodia has "lent further force to the argument" about actions taken by the probe agencies."It is the golden principle of natural justice that justice should not only be done but seem to be done too," he pointed out.
The Chief Minister also expressed hope that guidance from the Prime Minister will go a long way in changing the present perception, which is reflected in the letter of important political leaders including some CMs in this matter. Sisodia is currently lodged in judicial custody till March 20. Vijayan's letter comes two days after leaders of eight opposition parties, including Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, wrote a joint letter to the Prime minister alleging "blatant misuse of central agencies" against members of the opposition.