Jailed Modi rival accused of deliberately spiking his blood sugar level to get out of prison

Jailed Indian opposition leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been accused by investigative authorities of deliberately spiking his blood sugar levels in attempts to secure bail.

Mr Kejriwal was arrested on 21 March in New Delhi over charges of accepting bribes in a now-scrapped liquor policy. His political outfit – Aam Aadmi party (common man’s party) has denied the charges and called them political vendetta from the Narendra Modi administration ahead of the federal elections.

Enforcement Directorate (ED), the investigative agency governed by the Modi administration, on Thursday told a local court that the Delhi leader was eating mangoes, sweets and drinking tea with added sugar in jail to deliberately raise his blood sugar in a bid to create grounds for his bail.

He is attempting to “create a medical emergency to obtain sympathetic treatment from the court”, the ED told the court without providing proof to its claims.

“He is consciously consuming items like tea with sugar, banana, sweets (one or two pieces), poori, aloo sabji (potato curry with fried bread), on a regular basis, despite being a patient of diabetes mellitus type 2 and knowing very well that consumption of such items results in an increase in blood sugar,” officials from ED told special judge Kaveri Bajwa.

The Indian leader is seen as one of the biggest opposition voices against the prime minister. A top court on Monday extended his detention until 23, serving a major setback to the opposition which needs him to campaign in general elections that kickstarted on Friday.

AAP’s senior leader refuted the allegations and said the latest claims from the ED were lies in an effort to keep the top leader from receiving home-cooked food.

“There’s a conspiracy to kill Kejriwal by stopping his home cooked food supply [allowed by the court]. They [ED] said that Kejriwal is having tea with sugar and eating sweets. This is a complete lie. Kejriwal is taking an artificial sweetener,” Ms Atishi said in a press conference.

She added that all serious diabetes patients “can always keep bananas and toffees for emergencies”.

Mr Kejriwal’s sugar level has been severely impacted due to lack of insulin supply from the authorities, the Delhi minister said.

“For the past several days, Mr Kejriwal’s blood sugar level has been consistently above 300,” she said.

“The BJP [Mr Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party] through its wing ED is trying to harm Kejriwal’s health. They are trying to stop the supply of home-cooked food to Kejriwal in jail,” the Delhi lawmaker said, adding that Mr Kejriwal has been denied insulin despite him showing records of suffering from diabetes for 30 years and taking 54 units of insulin per day.

The prison authorities where Mr Kejriwal has been lodged have been asked to submit a report on Friday, detailing Mr Kejriwal’s diet.

His arrest sparked protests in Delhi and in the northern state of Punjab over the increased crackdown from Mr Modi’s party on jailing or removing his opposition from the elections. The arrest also drew the attention of the United States and Germany, which have called for a free and fair election drill in India.

His detention has united the 27-party opposition alliance called INDIA, which includes AAP and the Congress party, but opinion polls suggest that BJP has a strong lead over them and is likely to easily win a historic third term.