Delhi News : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids at deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia’s residence and other places are proof of corruption in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s excise policy that was introduced with the intention to benefit the liquor mafia.
Addressing a joint press conference with former Union minister and Delhi MP Dr Harsh Vardhan and Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said, “They have claimed that the government is earning profit due to the new excise policy. But we have been saying it from day one that there is corruption and the policy has been brought to benefit the liquor mafia. The CBI raids are proof of corruption.”
Hitting out at the AAP-led Delhi government, Gupta said that the policy was introduced at a time when the country was fighting against Covid. “They were not bothered about Covid. But their focus was on bringing a new excise policy. The waived off Rs144 crore (on licence fee) instead of using the money for Covid relief,” said Gupta. He alleged that the policy was brought in haste ahead of the Punjab elections.
BJP said that the Delhi government allowed liquor vends even in residential colonies and areas where vends are not allowed as per the Master Plan.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, BJP MP from Chandni Chowk, said that the BJP has been Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s identity today is that of a “corrupt CM”. “He has misled the people of the city….this corrupt government has no right to remain in power.”
West Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma alleged that Sisodia held meetings with people part of liquor mafia while drafting the policy. “The commission for L1 (distributors of liquor) was increased from 2% to 12% while the excise department used to get 1%. But after the CBI probe was recommended, the commission was reduced to 2% for L1 licensees. What was the increase in the expenditure incurred by distributors that the commission was increased?”
CBI on Friday morning conducted searches at the residence of tSisodia in connection with an alleged scam in the recently withdrawn excise policy of the AAP government.
Raids were conducted at 21 places in Delhi-NCR including the residence of Sisodia and the premises of four public servants, according to a CBI official. The official said that raids were conducted in locations across 7 states.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had recommended a CBI probe into the Kejriwal government’s Excise Policy, 2021-22, over alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses.The CBI inquiry was recommended on Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July, showing prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, they said.Apart from this, there were also “deliberate and gross procedural lapses” to provide post-tender “undue benefits to liquor licensees”, said the officials.