Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia attacked the BJP-led Central government on Sunday saying that the CBI, which is investigating his alleged role in illegalities revolving around the now-scrapped revamped Excise Policy, had issued a Look-out Circular (LOC) against him.
CBI sources however, confirmed that no LOC has been issued followed by the Aam Aadmi Party alleging that the Prime Minister’s Office had “planted” such stories in the media and rescinded the notice after the “uproar of the public.”
This, even as the BJP termed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “the most corrupt” Chief Minister in the country, questioned why the Delhi government had rolled back the Excise Policy if there was nothing wrong with it and demanded that Health Minister Satyendra Jain and Mr. Sisodia be sacked from the Delhi Cabinet.
“After your raids failed, didn’t beget anything, even a discrepancy worth a single paisa, you have issued a Lookout Notice against me saying that Manish Sisodia is nowhere to be found. What is this gimmick Modiji? I’m moving about freely in Delhi, tell me where to come? Don’t say I’m nowhere to be found,” Mr. Sisodia tweeted in Hindi on Sunday morning.
The Excise Minister had, on Saturday, alleged that the searches at his residence this Friday that had lasted over 14 hours, was part of a “script” to restrict the AAP and Chief Minister Kejriwal’s political advance across the country after their electoral conquest of Punjab.
“People see Kejriwal as an alternative to Modi in 2024 because he talks about health, education and employment. The BJP, CBI, Lt. Governor and Delhi Chief Secretary, all have single motive to stop Kejriwal otherwise, the 2024 (Lok Sabha polls) will slip out of their (BJP) hands,” Mr. Sisodia had said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that he is not against investigation, but demanded the CBI should also investigate “excise revenue of ₹10,000 crore being stolen every year” in Gujarat. “Gujarat is a dry state and people are dying by consuming spurious liquor. This should also be probed,” he said.
Chief Minister Kejriwal also slammed the Centre, saying it is “fighting with the entire country” instead of working with State governments to address issues of unemployment and inflation.
BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia termed “shameful” Mr. Sisodia’s reply regarding an alleged scam of ₹1 crore having been committed in relation to the revamped policy.
“Manish Sisodia’s reply, in which he was justifying the question on scams saying it is only a small scam of ₹1 crore, is shameful. Today the foundation of Kejriwal’s honesty has been completely shaken; since when did he become so friendly with the liquor mafia that ₹144 crore was waived and then a ₹30 crore fine was also waived off,” he asked.
West Delhi BJP MP Parvesh Verma alleged that Mr. Sisodia had been given ₹150 crore as the “first instalment” to increase commission on liquor sales for the “liquor mafia.”
“Chief Minister Kejriwal and Excise Minister Manish Sisodia should explain why the commission of liquor sellers was increased by 10%. He should also explain the relationship between him and the members of the liquor mafia -- Dinesh Arora, Vijay Nair and Vijay Arora,” Mr. Verma demanded.
BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged there was “solid evidence of corruption” in the liquor policy and that meetings between the AAP’s senior leadership in Delhi and members of the liquor mafia had taken place at a five star hotel in Delhi as well as in Chandigarh.
“After these meetings, AAP leaders implemented the same liquor policy in Delhi and Punjab which is already being followed in Telangana,” Mr. Sirsa alleged.
(With inputs from PTI)