NEW DELHI: Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has accused Narendra Modi of waging a “psychopathic” vendetta against his administration after federal investigators raided its headquarters on Tuesday.
While not giving a detailed explanation for the raid, a spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) confirmed officers had sealed off several offices in the Delhi secretariat where Kejriwal is based.
Kejriwal and Modi, the Indian prime minister, are bitter rivals and stood against each other at the 2014 general election in the Varanasi constituency.
Although Kejriwal was beaten by Modi in the general election, he then oversaw a dramatic landslide victory over Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) in polls at the start of the year in the Delhi state assembly.
The two men have since clashed repeatedly, with Kejriwal accusing the federal government of blocking a series of initiatives, including a new push to clean up the Indian capital’s polluted skies.
The firebrand chief minister, who is the founder and leader of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi party, said his own office was among the rooms that were raided although the CBI denied this was the case.
News of the raid was broken by Kejriwal himself, who posted on Twitter that “CBI raids my office” and then accused his arch rival Modi of being “a coward and a psychopath” who could not “handle me politically”.
India television cited sources in the bureau as saying the raid was against Kejriwal’s principal secretary, Rajendra Kumar.
Speaking to Agence France-Presse, a spokesman for the bureau gave few details but insisted that Kejriwal’s own office had not been targeted.
“We are investigating a case against a staffer from the chief minister’s office,” said the CBI’s spokesman, RK Gaur. “Our team didn’t raid the chief minister’s office but restricted entry to certain area.”
But Kejriwal countered that the CBI, which is funded by the central government, was “lying”.
“My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?
“If CBI had any evidence against Rajendra why didn’t they share it [with] me.”