Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has blamed Anil Baijal, the former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, for the huge losses that the state suffered due to the L-G recommending a CBI probe into the implementation of the new excise policy in the national capital.
Accusing Baijal of corruption, Sisodia said that his sudden change of heart was allegedly done to benefit a few shop owners, causing a huge loss to the state government as the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was not allowed to be properly implemented.
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“Despite reading the Excise Policy 2021-22 several times carefully, giving its suggestions and accepting it, the LG office changed its decision just 2 days before the opening of the liquor shops,” Sisodia said on Twitter, adding that the Delhi government lost thousands of crores as a few shops benefitted.
“Under whose pressure, did the L-G change the policy approved by the cabinet and himself, just 48 hours before the opening of the shop. A CBI inquiry has been sought,” he added.
Anil Baijal was the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi when the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government prepared the new excise policy, which was implemented on November 17, 2021.
Calling for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the sudden change of decision by the Delhi L-G, Sisodia questioned if there was some pressure against him and if a Bharatiya Janata Party leader was involved in it.
The Excise Policy 2021-22, rolled out in November 2021, was twice extended after March 31, 2022, each time for a period of two months. The policy ended on July 31.
The Excise Policy 2022-23, which is still in the works, is likely to recommend, among other things, home delivery of liquor in Delhi. The government is yet to send the draft policy to the new Lieutenant Governor, VK Saxena, for his approval.
On July 22, the Delhi L-G, recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Kejriwal government’s Excise Policy, 2021-22, over alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses. The CBI probe was first recommended by the Delhi Chief Secretary in a July report, showing prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010.