New Delhi: Hitting back at Arvind Kejriwal after allegations of a DDCA scam, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Delhi chief minister believed in "untruth and only falsehood".
"Free speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent fundamental right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria," Jaitley said in a Facebook post.
Jaitley denied corruption charges levelled against him by the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress with regard to affairs of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA).
"It is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourselves are in the dock. Finding himself acting as a shield to cover an officer under investigation, the Delhi chief minister has attempted to focus attention on me," he said.
"The chief minister raised two pleas. First, that it (CBI raid at Delhi secretariat) violates the federal structure of the constitution. In addition, he used unacceptable adjectives against the prime minister.
"Second, he questioned the purpose of the (CBI) search and tried to divert attention by linking it to the Delhi cricket body rather than alleged corruption of this official (chief minister's principal secretary Rajendra Kumar)," he added.
He also accused Kejriwal of violating the federal structure of the constitution.
"A state or a union territory, by its unacceptable conduct, can also be a threat to federalism. During the (earlier) United Progressive Alliance government, the Delhi government, with no police or investigative powers, registered an FIR against two union cabinet ministers of the then central government for voluntarily implementing a decision of the cabinet.
"If state governments start investigating decisions of the union cabinet there can be no greater threat to federalism. Delhi is a union territory with no police powers," the finance minister said.
"Even though I am not concerned with cricket administration since 2013, a member of parliament has been writing to various governmental bodies with regard to Delhi's cricket affairs.
"The then UPA government seized upon the opportunity and referred the complaints to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)which investigated all his complaints over a period of time and submitted a detailed report on March 21, 2013," Jaitley said in his post.
"Thus, in a nutshell, there are certain irregularities/non-compliance or technical violations, but no fraud (was) noticed, as alleged. These technical and procedural violations were all compoundable and were compounded by members against whom they were alleged. The SFIO, under the UPA rule, investigated and could not find a shred of evidence against me.
"No personal allegation was ever made against me nor did I ever feel the need to contradict it," the minister said.
The AAP had claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation raided Kejriwal's office on Tuesday while targeting his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar as it was looking for files related to the Delhi District Cricket Association.
Jaitley has been a chairman of the cricket body in the past.