New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday denied that it has carried out a search or raid on Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The Agency said that it only visited the Aam Aadmi Party's house in connection with a case.
Stung by what it called a "raid", the AAP today dubbed the central investigative agency as "Centre's Bureau of Intimidation".
CBI officials said they "visited" the residence of Sisodia to seek clarification about a preliminary enquiry (PE) against him relating to alleged irregularities in a social media event by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called 'Talk to AK'.
A team of CBI officers visited Sisodia's AB-17, Mathura Road residence in central Delhi in the morning and recorded his statement in connection with the PE registered against him and other unnamed state government officials on January 18.
The CBI officials left Sisodia's home in the evening.
Reacting to Aam Aadmi Party leaders' criticism that the CBI had raided Sisodia's house, the central agency clarified that "it is not a raid but a move to seek clarification on certain issues in a PE".
According to rules, no search or raid can be conducted under a PE.
"There is no raid or search at the premises of Sisodia. The visit of the CBI team is to seek clarification on certain issues relating to the ongoing enquiry," CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur told IANS.
In a tweet, Sisodia said, "We have done nothing wrong, ready to face any probe. Will keep working for Delhi's development without fear."
Addressing a press conference, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the "raid" on Sisodia's residence signalled the Narendra Modi government's "resolve" to not let the AAP regime in Delhi work.
"So, did they (CBI) come for tea?" Singh asked.
Displaying exasperation, Singh told the media that instead of the "daily harassment", the Centre should simply suspend the Delhi government.
The CBI, constituted as an autonomous body, had also raided the Delhi Secretariat in 2015, prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "coward and a psycopath".
The government denies influencing CBI.
Singh said 'Talk to AK', a programme to interact with the public, was held using the services of a public relations company, which did not charge the government. He said no tender was floated for the event as platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Google have no competition.
Reacting to AAP's allegation on central government, Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari said: "The CBI has been investigating the matter for quite some time now and today (Friday) it has given an opportunity to Sisodia to file his statement. He must cooperate with the agency."
The CBI had registered the PE in January this year on the basis of a complaint filed by the Vigilance Department of the Delhi government.
It was alleged in the complaint that a consultant of a well-known PR company was hired by the Delhi government to promote the event and that a Rs 1.5-crore proposal was prepared for this purpose.
The `Talk To AK` campaign was an interactive session of the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, through which people could reach out to the AAP leader through social media.
(With Agency inputs)