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Friday July 19, 2024

India opposition leader Kejriwal granted bail in graft case

By AFP
June 21, 2024
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses supporters and members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at the partys headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 2, 2024. — REUTERS/File
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses supporters and members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at the party's headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 2, 2024. — REUTERS/File 

NEW DELHI: An Indian court granted bail on Thursday to one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s chief opponents, who was first detained over a long-running corruption probe in March.

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and the leader of the opposition Aam Aadmi party, denies the charges as a “political conspiracy” by Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He was released from detention to campaign partway through the country´s weeks-long national election but returned to jail after voting ended earlier this month.

Modi´s BJP lost its overall parliamentary majority in the poll and now leads a coalition government.

“Truth alone triumphs,” Atishi, a minister in Kejriwal´s regional government, posted on X after the court ruling.

Kejriwal is expected to walk out of jail on Friday, days before a new parliamentary session starts Monday.

The Delhi chief minister is a key member of the opposition INDIA bloc, led by the main opposition Congress party, which defied all polls and observers´ expectations to significantly improve its national tally.

“When power becomes dictatorship, then jail becomes a responsibility,” Kejriwal said before surrendering himself to authorities earlier this month.

He is one of several opposition leaders in India under criminal investigation over various corruption-related probes, which Modi´s opponents say are being used by the premier to weaken any potential challengers.

Kejriwal, 55, has been chief minister of Delhi, the region which includes the capital New Delhi, for nearly a decade and first came to office as a staunch anti-corruption crusader.