Rahul Trivedi All materialsDelhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 30 in connection with a money laundering case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against him and his family in August 2017. He has been serving a prison sentence since then.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday launched a fierce attack on Delhi’s governing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar wrote a letter to Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) V.K. Saxena claiming that he paid INR 100 million ($1,210,763) to jailed AAP minister Satyendar Jain as “protection money” in 2019 to ensure his safety in prison.Notably, Chandrasekhar has been lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi since 2017 on charges of extorting money from high-profile personalities, including industrialists and celebrities.After a letter from the conman was published by media outlets, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla termed the AAP as an extortionist party and asked “will Kejriwal sack Satyendar Jain or defend him?”
The BJP also alleged that Sukesh Chandrasekhar had paid INR 600 million ($7,260,672) to the AAP, including INR 500 million ($6,050,560) for a Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) nomination.Another BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra, accused the AAP of running a syndicate from “outside the jail.” Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Patra said: “A conman has been conned. By whom? The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and (Delhi minister) Satyendar Jain.”Referring to Chandrasekhar, Patra said: “He is an accused in 15 cases. A letter has revealed that Jain and the conman are friends. He has said in the letter that he has been associated with the party since 2015 and that he was told that he would be established as a leader in the South India.”Citing the letter of the conman, the BJP spokesperson further said Chandrasekhar had paid millions to the AAP.Meanwhile, Delhi state chief and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal dismissed the claims of Chandrasekhar, as he said that all the allegations were “false” and aimed at deflecting attention from the Gujarat state assembly elections and the Morbi Bridge tragedy, in which 135 people died on Sunday.”These are all made up charges. They are trying to divert attention from Morbi. They are panicking ahead of the Gujarat election. They did not have to do anything during elections all these years. The BJP and the Congress worked in cahoots. This time, they are struggling because of AAP. They are so desperate that they are using a conman to plant fake news against Satyendar Jain,” Kejriwal told reporters.”They also tried to frame Manish Sisodia accusing him of a liquor scam,” he added.
Allegations by Sukesh Chandrasekhar
According to media reports, Chandrasekhar wrote a letter to Delhi LG V.K. Saxena alleging that Jain had “severely harassed and threatened” him in jail.“After my arrest in 2017, I was lodged in Tihar Jail and was visited multiple times by Satyendar Jain, who held the portfolio of jail minister… In 2019 again, I was visited by Jain, whose secretary asked me to pay INR 20 million ($241,902) every month as protection money and to get basic facilities inside the jail,” the conman’s letter read.He further alleged that Jain had visited him several times in prison after 2017 and asked him whether he had revealed anything about his donation to the AAP.In his letter, he alleged that he had also paid INR 125 million ($1,512,090), besides paying Jain.According to media reports, Chandrasekhar has already informed the Enforcement Directorate team about the extortion racket run by Goel and has made an appeal to the Delhi High Court seeking a probe by country’s top anti-corruption watchdog. The case will be heard next month.