By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2023-03-06 07:33:18
Leaders of eight opposition parties have written to Prime Minister Modi about former deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia's arrest by the CBI in the Delhi liquor policy case. They have called it "blatant misuse" of Central agencies and have termed his arrest "political witch hunt". The signatories to the letter were AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, Telangana chief minister and BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, NC leader Farooq Abdullah, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray. Among the major opposition parties, the Congress, the DMK and the JD (U) did not sign the letter. The letter also reminds the Prime Minister that once Central agencies move against opposition leaders, the charges are either dropped or the case is put on the backburner the moment they decide to join the BJP. It is believed that KCR took the lead in sending the letter. KCR's daughter K Kavitha has also been named in the Enforcement Directorate's chargesheet in the Delhi liquor policy case.
The letter initiative shows how, despite all parties being against the BJP for misusing Central agencies, they are not united for the cause. The Congress has, since the time Sisodia was arrested, not criticized his arrest even once. The AAP was severe in its criticism of the Congress for not joining the others in protesting against Sisodia's arrest. AAP spokesman said that the "Congress which considers itself as the big brother and says it will lead if any opposition alliance is formed, should have reached out to the opposition parties". But the Congress has claimed that nobody approached it to be one of the signatories to the letter. Whatever be the reason, the episode once again shows that despite the urgent need for unity and their individual grouses against the BJP, the opposition parties are not on the same page on all issues. Some of them band together on some issues while some others do so on some other issues. This is working against opposition unity.