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This is the time to fight, says Sanjay Singh as he walks free from Delhi jail | Latest News Delhi

This is the time to fight, says Sanjay Singh as he walks free from Delhi jail | Latest News Delhi

Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member and Rajya Sabha lawmaker Sanjay Singh was released from Tihar jail on Wednesday, triggering celebrations among swarms of party supporters who stood outside the prison complex in west Delhi to welcome the leader, who walked out of imprisonment after 181 days.

Sanjay Singh with other AAP leaders at the party office in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

“This is not the time for celebrations. It is a time for struggle. And we will struggle,” the 52-year-old said to rapturous applause as he stood atop a car and briefly addressed the crowd, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail.

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“Our party’s biggest leaders – (Delhi chief minister) Arvind Kejriwal, (former deputy chief minister) Manish Sisodia and (former health minister) Satyendar Jain have been kept inside these walls of this jail. I am sure the locks will break and our leaders will be released,” he said, alleging that the country was being choked under a dictatorship.

Singh then headed towards the chief minister’s residence on Flagstaff Road in Civil Lines to meet Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal, accompanied by his wife, son and daughter, who met him outside prison.

Singh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in October last year and imprisoned for his alleged role in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped 2021–22 Delhi excise policy.

ED did not oppose his bail plea on Tuesday, after the court asked the agency why Singh should be kept behind bars after serving six months in jail, considering that there doesn’t appear to be any concrete evidence against him, and no money has been recovered linking him to the alleged money laundering offence.

Singh reached the chief minister’s residence in Civil Lines around 9.20pm.

As he got out of the car, Singh was greeted by Sunita Kejriwal, whose feet he touched.

Sunita Kejriwal then hugged Anita Singh, Singh’s wife.

He then left for the AAP headquarters in Rouse Avenue around 9.45pm. At 10.05pm, the senior party leader, whose exit from prison is a significant fillip for the embattled AAP, made his way to a makeshift stage inside the headquarters where he was garlanded by Delhi minister and party convener Gopal Rai.

Late on Wednesday, Singh and his family met Seema Sisodia, the former deputy chief minister’s wife.

Singh – who is one of the tallest leaders of the party, is an aggressive public orator, and has relationships across parties – was surrounded by the AAP’s brass, including MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj. A large image of Arvind Kejriwal behind bars was also kept at the stage, usually reserved for speeches after the election victories.

ED arrested Rajya Sabha MP Singh on October 4 last year in relation to the controversial 2021-22 excise policy, which has since been withdrawn. His arrest was based on a statement made by Dinesh Arora, who claimed to have delivered a sum of 2 crore to Sarvesh Mishra, an alleged associate of the MP. These funds were delivered at Singh’s official residence, Arora said in his statement recorded by the trial court, and the receipt of this was confirmed by Singh when they next met. Arora turned an approver in the case, seeking pardon.

ED had filed supplementary complaints against Singh and other co-accused on December 2 and December 19 following which the trial court rejected grant of regular bail to Singh on December 22.

He started his speech, addressing hundreds of party workers, with slogans of “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Arvind Kejriwal Zindabad”.

He then attacked the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The AAP was born from a protest and we will not be scared by these dictatorial tactics. They want to destroy our party, because of which Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain have been put in jail”

Singh said the only fault of these jailed leaders was that they wanted to give good education, free water and welfare schemes to people.

“They wanted to give free bus rides to daughters and mothers. Was this their crime? They want to topple the best performing government in the country. Now they want to arrest Raghav Chadha, Atishi and Durgesh Pathak,” he said, reiterating an allegation Atishi made on Tuesday.

“Kailash Gahlot was called in for questioning for 4.5 hours. What kind of dictatorship is being enforced in this country?” he asked.

He said that all AAP workers in the country stand firmly with Arvind Kejriwal despite his arrest.

“The BJP is not asking for the chief minister’s resignation. They want to stop all these welfare schemes,” he said.

He stressed that Kejriwal would run the government from jail.

“The jail manual says that anyone can write an unlimited number of letters from jail. Why are questions being raised about whether governments can be run from jail… The court’s permission can be taken to issue government letters. The jail superintendent can attest these letters,” he said.

Atishi said Singh’s release was a “victory for truth”.

“They have been probing the liquor case for two years now. CBI and ED have put thousands of officers behind us, and hundreds of raids have been carried out. But not a single paisa has been recovered. Today the release and bail of Sanjay Singh is testament to the honesty and truth of the AAP.”

Responding to the developments of the day, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said, “The kind of celebrations (by the AAP) makes it appear as if Singh has been acquitted in the excise case. The court has granted him conditional bail, but they are celebrating as if he has been acquitted.”

Delhi BJP spokesperson Abhay Verma added, “The way he spoke today — the day isn’t far when he breaks the bindings imposed by both the Supreme Court and the trial court, and he may land back (in prison) with Arvind Kejriwal and the others.”

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