The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday recorded the statement of AAP’s MCD in-charge and Rajinder Nagar MLA Durgesh Pathak in connection with the alleged irregularities in the now-withdrawn Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
The ED probe is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 17.
The FIR was registered after Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the liquor policy.
On August 19 the CBI carried out searches at various locations, including the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The CBI has in its FIR alleged that there were irregularities while modifying the excise policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, licence fee was waived or reduced, and the L1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval.
Last week, the ED carried out searches at 40 locations in and around Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in connection with the case.
The ED’s move to record Mr. Pathak’s statement drew sharp reactions from senior AAP leaders.
Mr. Sisodia tweeted: “Today, the ED has summoned AAP’s MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak. What has our MCD election in-charge got to do with the Delhi government’s liquor policy? Is their target liquor policy or MCD elections?”
Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP’s chief spokesperson, also took to the social media platform, alleging that elections now on will “be fought by the alliance of BJP-ED-CBI”.
He added that the ED had summoned Mr. Pathak as “the MCD elections are about to happen”. AAP MLA Atishi alleged that the Central probe agencies’ real target was Mr. Kejriwal’s “rapid political growth”.