Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has apologised for levelling “unfounded” allegations related to involvement in drugs trade against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia following which the latter has decided to withdraw the court case against him.
The Punjab government, meanwhile, informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had formed a two-member panel to examine the report prepared by a senior police officer on the alleged role of Majithia in a drug racket case.
The government’s declaration came amid allegations in the court that after the High Court ordered a probe in November 2017 on an application by a lawyers’ group into the alleged involvement of Majithia in the drug case, the Enforcement Directorate was threatening its deputy director Niranjan Singh with “outright suspension” if he did not “disengage” his personal counsel in the case, media reports said.
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Punjab unit leaders, separately, slammed the Kejriwal’s “meek surrender”, terming him step a “letdown”.
AAP leaders in New Delhi, however, said the move was to shed court cases, in which the party convenor finds himself mired, and hinted that a similar course could be adopted in the defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley., media reports said
Former Punjab minister Majithia said he was grateful that truth had won and Kejriwal had realized his mistake. Since the AAP leader had “tendered his apology”, he did not want to pursue the defamation case filed against him, Majithia reportedly said.
Drug abuse was a major issue in the high-octane Punjab Assembly elections last year and Kejriwal, who was leading the AAP charge, accused Majithia, then a minister in the state government, of being involved in narcotics trade.
Majithia had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Ashish Khetan in May 2015.
Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly and senior AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira took to Twitter to vent his disagreement.
“Were appalled n stunned by the apology of @ArvindKejriwal tendered today, we dont hesitate to admit that we havent been consulted on this meek surrender by a leader of his stature (sic),” Khaira tweeted.
Another senior AAP leader Kanwar Sandhu tweeted, “Arvind Kejriwal apology to Bikram Majithia in the defamation case on drugs is a let down to the people, especially the youth of Punjab. We in Punjab have not been taken into the loop. Our fight for Punjab continues.”