After Delhi govt reverses new liquor policy, Manish Sisodia accuses BJP of threatening shopkeepers and officers-Sports News , Firstpost

Sisodia on Saturday accused the BJP of threatening shopkeepers and officers with ED and CBI cases and alleged that the saffron party wanted to close legal liquor shops in Delhi and earn money from illegal outlets.

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia . ANI

New Delhi: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Saturday accused the BJP of threatening shopkeepers and officers with ED and CBI cases and alleged that the saffron party wanted to close legal liquor shops in Delhi and earn money from illegal outlets.

His reaction came after the Delhi government decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sales for six months amid an ongoing investigation into the excise policy by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and a face-off between Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and the Arvind Kejriwal government on the issue.

“They (BJP) are threatening shopkeepers, officers with ED and CBI, they want legal liquor shops to be closed in Delhi and earn money from illegal shops. We’ve decided to stop the new liquor policy and ordered to open govt liquor shops,” said Sisodia.

Sisodia said the new liquor policy was conceptualised with an aim to stop corruption. “Before the government used to get around Rs 6,000 crore revenue from 850 liquor shops. But, after the new policy, our govt would have got more than Rs 9,000 crore from the same number of shops,” he added.

The Excise Policy 2021-22, which was extended twice after 31 March for two months each, will expire on 31 July.

However, the draft policy has yet to be sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for approval.

The strained ties between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi worsened last week when Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, holding Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in-charge of the excise department, accountable.

Right after this move, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Centre, saying the Lieutenant Governor was making “false allegations” and leaders of the AAP were “not afraid of jail”.

The Lt Governor’s move follows a report submitted by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on the matter.

The report, which officials said was submitted on 8 July, accuses Sisodia of providing undue benefits to liquor vend licencees in lieu of “kickbacks” and “commissions” and the money being used in the recent Punjab elections.

With inputs from PTI

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