Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday backed his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain after purported videos of him getting a massage inside the Tihar jail surfaced online, saying he was undergoing physiotherapy for a spinal injury suffered from a fall in the prison.
The senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader also accused the BJP of making a mockery of Jain’s treatment and hatching a conspiracy to keep him in jail in a ”frivolous” case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Jain and two others on May 30 in a money laundering case based on a 2017 Central Bureau of Investigation FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The minister has been accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him. ”You (BJP) are doing all this because you are about to lose the elections. You have sensed defeat in the Gujarat and the MCD elections. You want to win the elections by making a mockery of Satyendar Jain’s ailment. Nothing can be more indecent than this,” Sisodia said and asserted that the AAP will emerge victorious in the polls.
While the two-phase assembly elections in Gujarat are slated for December 1 and 5, the polls to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will be held on December 4.
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Purported videos of 58-year-old Jain lying on a bed and getting a foot massage in the Tihar jail here have gone viral on social media. In the clip, the AAP leader can be seen reading some documents and a man in a white T-shirt massaging his legs. There are also videos that show he is getting his head and back massaged.
The videos have intensified the war of words between the BJP and the AAP ahead of the polls in Gujarat and the national capital.
Latching onto the videos, the BJP questioned AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ”silence” on the matter.
”The AAP has become the ‘Spa and Massage Party’,” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said citing the videos and challenged Kejriwal to explain Jain’s conduct in jail.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia lashed out at the BJP accusing it of keeping Jain in prison in a ”frivolous” case for the past six months by hatching a conspiracy against him.
”As if that was not enough that today BJP has stooped so low by wrongfully leaking the CCTV video of a person who is suffering from an ailment and receiving the necessary treatment. They are framing fancy stories around it to mock his ailment,” the AAP leader said.
”I do not think that there could have been any other party in the country’s history which would have come down to a level where they would make fun of someone’s ailment in such a gross and vile manner,” Sisodia said.
Accusing the BJP of doing ”cheap politics”, he shared Jain’s medical history and the reason he was advised physiotherapy. He also showed documents that detailed the precautions Jain was advised following a surgery.
”During his time in prison, he fell and his spine got injured. His L5-S1 vertebrae or L5-S1 disk got damaged. As per his medical records, his nerves got pinched and he was hospitalised. He underwent two surgeries through which nerve blocks were implanted. While discharging him from the hospital, doctors recommended that he need regular physiotherapy,” Sisodia said.
”When he was receiving physiotherapy, these people took a video of it and now they are making fun of him. Don’t you feel ashamed?” he asked.
Sisodia said despite the court instructing the ED to ensure that the video is not leaked, it happened.
”The court had instructed the ED to ensure that this video should not be leaked. Yet the video was leaked to give effect to BJP’s conspiracy to make a mockery of Jain’s ailment. This is willful disobedience of the court’s order. We will take action on this separately,” he said.
Earlier this week, a Tihar jail superintendent was suspended for alleged involvement in providing special treatment to Jain in the prison. The ED had claimed in a court here that Jain was getting special treatment inside the prison.