AAP leader gets massage in Tihar
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Bhaskar Hari Sharma
NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday locked horns after a CCTV footage in which Delhi’s jailed minister Satyendar Jain was seen getting a massage inside Tihar Jail went viral. Soon after the CCTV footage surfaced on social media, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia defended Mr Jain and said that he was undergoing physiotherapy for a spinal injury, while the Opposition, the BJP and the Congress, demanded his sacking and questioned the "silence" of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Targeting the AAP, Delhi BJP incharge Baijayant Panda said, "This is AAP culture of giving VVIP treatment to those who are on wrong side of law! A tainted and jailed minister of AAP, denied bail five times, gets a massage inside Tihar jail. AAPsurdity at its peak."
The Delhi BJP also lodged a complaint at Hari Nagar police station against Mr Kejriwal, Mr Jain and Tihar Jail officials for "blatantly misusing authority".
Later in the day, Delhi's Rouse Avenue court issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate after Mr Jain's legal team filed a contempt of court plea, saying that the CCTV footage, which showed him receiving a massage inside jail, was "leaked". Mr Jain's legal team said that the ED "leaked" the CCTV footage, disregarding the undertaking that it gave in court.
The court asked the probe agency how the video got leaked despite its undertaking? Special judge Vikas Dhull issued a notice to the ED and fixed the matter for hearing on November 21.
The video emerged days after the ED told the court that Mr Jain is getting VIP treatment in jail number 7.
Attacking the APP over the leaked video, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted, "So instead of Sazaa - Satyendar Jain was getting full VVIP Mazaa? Massage inside Tihar Jail? Hawalabaaz who hasn't got bail for 5 months get head massage! Violation of rules in a jail run by AAP Govt. This is how official position abused for Vasooli & massage thanks to Kejriwal."
The leaked "massage video" went viral, with the hashtag "#SatyendarJain" trending on Twitter.
BJP MP Parvesh Verma also demanded an apology from Mr Kejriwal for comparing Mr Jain to Shaheed Bhagat Singh for being in jail.
Congress national spokesperson Alka Lamba lashed out at AAP over the videos and sought to know why Mr Kejriwal had not yet removed Mr Jain from his post.
"Mr Kejriwal should answer what is his compulsion that he has not yet sacked his reference minister Mr Jain from the post? If you look at the viral video, it looks less like a jail barrack and more like a hotel room," Ms Lamba said.
She further alleged that with the kind of facilities being provided to Mr Jain in jail, "the allegations levelled against him by a thug (like) Sukesh Chandrashekhar seem to be true".
Defending Mr Jain, Mr Sisodia said: "Mr Jain had sustained injury to his spine and that led to pinched nerve. He was also admitted to hospital. He underwent two surgeries. The doctor had advised physiotherapy upon discharge and those videos show him getting physiotherapy."
Mr. Sisodia went on to say that while anyone can be injured or become ill, only the BJP can make "cruel jokes" by leaking CCTV footage of an injured person's treatment.
He said: "The Prime Minister of a country may also fall sick. Even they may require treatment."
Lashing out at the BJP, Mr Sisodia claimed that his colleague had been lodged in a false case and that the BJP was making fun of Mr Jain's illness and added that "They (BJP) are losing the MCD and Gujarat polls and that is why they are resorting to cheap theatrics. They should fight the MCD election in Delhi on issues."