Opinion: How Manish Sisodia’s Arrest Brought Opposition Together

Manish Sisodia, BJP, Congress
Manish Sisodia during one of his rallies
Manish Sisodia, BJP, Congress
Manish Sisodia during one of his rallies

The arrest of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the alleged liquor scam appears to have accomplished what ideology or a common cause against the BJP had not: it appears to have united the opposition ahead of the general elections next year.

Since yesterday, all major opposition parties have expressed their outrage and support for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party via Twitter.

The only exception was Congress, which took a nuanced stance yesterday evening, alleging misuse of Central Investigative Agencies while remaining silent on AAP.

The Congress’s Delhi unit has been at odds with the AAP since Anna Hazare’s Anti-Corruption Movement deposed it after three terms in power. Its leaders have backed Mr Sisodia’s arrest and even declared that Arvind Kejriwal should be the next in line.

However, Congress’s media in-charge, Jairam Ramesh, posted a tweet yesterday evening that firmly placed it on the side of the opposition, though not behind AAP.

The opposition has accused the BJP-led government of targeting them through Central agencies since it came to power. Across the board, prominent opposition leaders have been searched, named in corruption cases, and arrested.

The arrest of Mr Sisodia, the face of the AAP’s overhaul of Delhi schools, appears to have tapped into opposition rage, resulting in a public outcry.

“If @msisodia had bought a BJP-branded washing machine, he would not have been arrested. Manish, congratulations… Allies… have all deserted the BJP. Only the CBI, ED, and IT remain true allies “Derek O’Brien of Trinamool tweeted.

“By arresting Manish Sisodia ji, who brought revolutionary changes in the field of education in Delhi, the BJP has proven that it is not only against education but also against the future of Delhi’s children,” said Akhilesh Yadav, leader of the Samajwadi Party.

Sanjay Raut, senior leader of the Shiv Sena’s Thackeray faction and one of the opposition leaders imprisoned until recently, chose to look at the big picture. “The way the BJP is arresting Opposition Leaders makes me fear for what will happen to BJP leaders when they are no longer in power,” he tweeted.