Indian opposition leader granted bail to campaign in elections

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India’s top court gave temporary bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a graft case on Friday, allowing him to campaign in the ongoing general elections, boosting the opposition alliance of which he is a key leader.

The court said the temporary bail would last until June 1, the last day of the seven-phase vote, and Kejriwal would have to surrender on June 2.

“Arvind Kejriwal and that order of interim release will be operable up till 2nd of June, that is during the election process and there is no restriction on his campaigning as to what he can say, what he cannot say during while he is out in these 20-22 days. Any further aspect, we’ll have to see the order and then only comment,” Kejriwal’s lawyer, Shadan Farasat has said.

The poll, meanwhile, has been marred by charges that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is using investigating agencies to hurt rivals, accusations the government denies.

The Enforcement Directorate, India’s financial crime-fighting agency, arrested Kejriwal – a staunch critic of Modi and a key opposition leader – on March 21 in connection with corruption allegations related to the capital territory’s liquor policy.

Kejriwal’s government and his Aam Aadmi Party have denied the corruption allegations. Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party say that the investigating agencies are only doing their job and the government is not influencing them.

Kejriwal has been in pre-trial detention since April 1, and his wife Sunita has stepped in to campaign for his decade-old party in his absence.

India began voting on April 19 and elections to more than half the total 543 seats were completed with the third phase on May 7. The national capital territory will vote on May 25.

Voting concludes on June 1 and counting is set for June 4.