Indian Court Upholds Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal’s Arrest in Graft Case Amid Election Dispute

In a significant development ahead of the general elections in India, an Indian court has dismissed an appeal challenging the arrest of prominent opposition leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a corruption case. The ruling, delivered on Tuesday, deals a blow to the opposition just ten days before the commencement of the polls.

Arvind Kejriwal, a key figure in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21 over allegations linked to corruption in Delhi’s liquor policy. This move triggered widespread protests in both the capital and the northern state of Punjab, where AAP also holds sway.

Following last week’s extension of Kejriwal’s detention until April 15 by a city court, he was transferred to Delhi’s Tihar jail, joining two other senior AAP leaders ensnared in the same case. However, a third AAP member, held for six months, was granted bail earlier this month.

AAP has vehemently denounced Kejriwal’s arrest, labeling the charges as “fabricated” and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of orchestrating a ploy to obstruct the leader’s involvement in election campaigning.

The opposition coalition INDIA, comprising 27 parties including AAP, has rallied behind Kejriwal, condemning the investigations by ED and other federal agencies as politically motivated. Meanwhile, the Congress party, India’s primary opposition, has accused Modi’s administration of “tax terrorism,” alleging that the tax department is leveraging significant tax demands to financially debilitate them ahead of the elections.

The government has refuted these claims, asserting that enforcement agencies are merely fulfilling their duties in pursuing violations. Despite the denials, the actions against opposition figures have sparked allegations of an attempt to tilt the electoral playing field in favor of the ruling party.

As the election draws near, the fallout from Kejriwal’s arrest underscores the charged political atmosphere in India, with accusations of manipulation and partisan agendas intensifying on both sides of the political spectrum.