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The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said Delhi was in a “constitutional crisis” because of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s refusal to resign after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last week.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal being taken from ED office to Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

In a press conference at the Delhi BJP office, the party’s state unit chief Virendra Sachdeva and North East Delhi lawmaker Manoj Tiwari said Kejriwal was “unconcerned with people’s problems”, even as they alleged that the Aam Aadmi Parth (AAP) was “in turmoil”.

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“Arvind Kejriwal is passing orders talking about sewage, water, and medicines in hospitals and asking ministers to fix the problems. Who is giving Kejriwal information in jail?” said Tiwari, who will contest the North East Delhi constituency seat once again when the Capital votes in the general elections on May 25.

“If Kejriwal was concerned about the people’s problems, he would have resigned instead of stopping development work, and cooperated with the investigation. The AAP is going through an internal war because Kejriwal is trying to make his wife the chief minister, and the MLAs are not ready to accept her,” he said.

To be sure, senior AAP leaders have insisted Kejriwal will not step down and that he will run the government from prison. However, lieutenant governor VK Saxena on Wednesday said the Delhi government “will not be run from jail”.

“There is a constitutional crisis in Delhi and the people are distressed due to Kejriwal’s drama,” Tiwari said on Thursday.

Also read: Kejriwal links poll bonds with excise trail; not true: ED

AAP ministers have claimed that Kejriwal has been arrested as part of a “political conspiracy” and that no law bars him from continuing to hold office.

There is no prohibition either in the Constitution or under any statute that mandates a sitting CM to resign after arrest in a criminal case. It is only after their conviction and an imposition of a jail term that they must resign, the AAP has argued.

Sachdeva, meanwhile, questioned if it was morally correct to run the government from jail.

“Is it administratively possible to run a government from jail? And if it is morally correct, then why did Kejriwal’s ministers Satyendra Jain and Manish Sisodia resign?” Sachdeva asked.

Minutes before being produced in a city court on Thursday, Kejriwal was asked about LG VK Saxena’s statement that the city government will not be run from jail. In response, the CM said, “This is a political conspiracy. The people will give a reply.”

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