Rebel AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar has moved a breach of privilege notice against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, accusing him of resorting to “falsehoods” while defending the Delhi government on the liquor issue.
Pushkar, who represents the Timarpur constituency, moved the notice yesterday, claiming Sisodia’s replies to two starred questions posed by him in the Assembly were factually incorrect and were intended to “hide” the Delhi government’s “misdeeds”.
In reply to Pushkar’s question on whether there was any public consultation before granting licences to new vends in the last one year, Sisodia had said as per current rules there is no such requirement.
This, Pushkar claimed, was “false” as relavant sections of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 make the Deputy Commissioner liable to take all reasonable steps to “ascertain the opinion of persons, who reside or have property in the neighbourhood and are likely to be affected by the proposal”.
“If any objection is preferred to the proposal, the Deputy Commissioner or a gazetted officer deputed by him, shall enquire into it…” Pushkar told reporters today, quoting Section 24 of the rules.
Pushkar’s second question was whether the consent of the local MLA is required before opening of a new liquor vend in an area, to which Sisodia had said replied in the negative.
“Whereas the fact remains that while granting L6 licence (retail vends), as per the excise policy of the Delhi government, the area MLA should have given his positive opinion. An NOC from the area MLA is required for L2/L10 vends before the opening of a liquor shop,” he said.
Pushkar’s move assumes importance as Swaraj Abhiyan, led by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan which the MLA has actively backed, has raised the issue in a big way, in its first major intervention in Delhi politics.
Under the new excise policy announced by the AAP dispensation, no new liquor store, except in malls, will be allowed in Delhi in the current financial year.
It has also empowered the mohalla sabhas to decide on whether to shut down the existing ones.