The CBI has given a "clean chit", Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday after a team of the probe agency searched his bank locker for about two hours.
Sisodia and his wife were present as the four-member team, including a woman officer, conducted the search at a Punjab National Bank branch in Vasundhara, Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of the national capital. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader is among the 15 people and entities named in an FIR registered by the agency in connection with alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Delhi government's Excise Policy 2021-22.
The CBI was acting under pressure, Sisodia told reporters after the search was over. "Just like my home, they did not find anything in my lockers. Jewellery of about Rs 70,000-80,000 of my children, my wife…I am happy that I got a clean chit from the CBI in searches today. They have found nothing (incriminating) from searches of my locker or residence," Sisodia told reporters here.
The Delhi deputy chief minister said he was happy "the prime minister got my house searched but could not find anything". "Today, he sent the CBI to get my locker searched but could not find anything. This is the proof that I and my family have come out clean in all the inquiries done by the prime minister. I have got a clean chit in all the probes done by the prime minister and not a single penny of questionable nature has been detected. I have full faith in my truth," Sisodia said.
He said all the CBI officers were cordial with him and his family. "We also cooperated. Unofficially they (CBI) admit that there is nothing questionable but they are also under some sort of pressure to find something so that I can be put in jail for two to three months.
"There is pressure from the prime minister to put me behind bars for two to three months Truth shall triumph," a smiling Sisodia said. In the morning, camera crews jostled with each other and curious crowds gathered as the Sisodias as well as CBI the team arrived at the bank.
"The CBI is welcome," Sisodia had said in a tweet on Monday. "Tomorrow, the CBI is coming to check our bank locker. They did not find anything during a 14-hour raid at my residence on August 19. They won't find anything in the locker too My family and I will extend full cooperation in the probe." On August 19, the federal probe agency raided 31 locations, including Sisodia's residence, over alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Delhi government's Excise Policy 2021-22.
Sisodia has been claiming that he has been "made an accused in a false case to stop the march of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal" who, he believes, has emerged as an alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. During a special session of the Delhi Assembly on Friday, the AAP leader had claimed that the BJP-led Centre is "acting like a serial killer" to eliminate state governments and described the CBI FIR against him as "false" and based on "mere sources".