Indian Opposition Leader Released for Election Campaigning

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India’s Supreme Court has granted interim bail to Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal until the end of the ongoing elections, allowing a key leader in the opposition alliance to campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

The court said that due to the ongoing elections, interim relief was being given and Kejriwal would have to surrender on June 2. The last day of voting is on June 1, with the results are scheduled for June 4.

Kejriwal faces allegations of money laundering in relation to a now-scrapped liquor sales tax scheme in Delhi and was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement, the federal anti-money laundering agency, in March.

While a trial court in Delhi has routinely been carrying out proceedings surrounding his custody in prison, Kejriwal had approached the higher court questioning the propriety, legality and timing of his arrest. The Delhi High Court had rejected the chief minister’s plea for quashing his arrest last month prompting Kejriwal to knock on the country’s top court’s door in appeal.

He hasn’t stepped down as chief minster despite calls from the BJP for his resignation. At least two petitions in court seeking Kejriwal’s resignation have failed.

Kejriwal is among several senior leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party, or AAP, who have been arrested on allegations that the party’s government in the national capital skewed the alcohol pricing in the region in exchange for bribes. The party has consistently denied the allegations and often termed them as political witch-hunt by the BJP-led government that controls the federal investigative agencies.

“The Supreme Court’s decision has not only granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal, but has also resulted in the victory of truth, constitution and democracy,” AAP said in a post on social media platform X.

In a reprieve for Kejriwal’s party, its senior leader Sanjay Singh was released on bail by the country’s top court last month after six months of imprisonment.

(Updates with additional information after fifth paragraph)

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