Aam Aadmi Party MLA and incharge of Gujarat affairs Gulab Singh Yadav was arrested by Delhi police on October 16 in connection with an extortion case against his aides after he turned himself in before local police, hours before party national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s maiden rally here.
The Delhi Chief Minister, who is on Gujarat tour, described the arrest of the Matiala legislator, facing a non-bailable warrant, as intended to “scuttle” his rally and accused the BJP president Amit Shah of “trying to disrupt the Surat programme”.
“Delhi police had come here with a non-bailable warrant against Gulab Singh Yadav. He learnt about it before hand and came to Urma police station where we handed him over to Delhi police,” Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said.
Delhi police will take Yadav to a court to secure a transit remand. Before leaving for Umra police station to surrender, Yadav told reporters at the circuit house, “I have learnt that Delhi police have come to Surat to arrest me. So I am going to Umra police station to court arrest and ask Delhi police to pick me from there.”
“I am in Gujarat since September 6, and was here when the FIR was filed on September 13. Police raided my office and got nothing incriminating. The Centre is directing arrest of AAP MLAs but we are not going to bow, and are ready for any consequences,” he alleged.
Last month, two property dealers, Deepak Sharma and Rinku Diwan, had alleged that Satish and Devinder, who work in Gulab Singh’s office, and an associate Jagdish were extorting money from them by threatening to get the building from where the property dealers were operating, demolished.
A case under section 384 (punishment for extortion) IPC was registered at Bindapur police station on September 13.
Speaking to reporters in Vadodara before leaving for Surat, Kejriwal alleged that Amit Shah was trying to “disrupt” the rally.
“Yadav’s arrest is intended to put hurdles in the way of the Surat rally. But we are not afraid of it. We have come to know that Amit Shah and BJP are trying to disrupt our rally. But this is not my rally, it’s the rally of people of Gujarat. I request Shah not to disrupt it…You see 13 MLAs (of AAP) have been arrested by Delhi Police on the direction from the BJP,” he said.
Kejriwal said, “We have come here to clean up politics in Gujarat and to seek support of agitating Patel community.”
The Delhi CM further alleged that Yadav’s arrest is indicative of “panic” prevailing in the BJP camp over AAP’s “popularity” and its “emergence” as a strong political force in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.