Amid an ongoing probe over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s now withdrawn excise policy 2021-22 in Delhi, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbhir Singh Badal has levelled corruption allegations against the Punjab government’s excise policy. The SAD MP has claimed that the excise regime has benefitted “just one person” in Punjab. On Wednesday, the SAD chief led a delegation to Governor Banwarilal Purohit demanding a CBI inquiry into the state’s excise policy.
“There is a monopoly. They’ve given the command to sell liquor in Punjab to just one person. The profit margin has been increased from 5% to 10%, but there is just one person to sell. Earlier, there were 100 sellers; now, there is just one. This is a clear scam,” Sukhbir Singh Badal told the media after his meeting with Purohit.
After his visit to the Raj Bhavan, Badal said that he had apprised the Governor of the prevailing situation, requesting him to launch a similar investigation into the excise policy as was done by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, reported ANI.
After the L-G claimed that there was enough proof to suggest that the now-withdrawn excise policy in Delhi had resulted in a loss to the Delhi government’s exchequer, benefiting the private liquor licensees, the CBI raided Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s house in connection with the case. Sisodia was named as the primary accused in the CBI’s FIR, and there have been demands that the Enforcement Directorate step in as the FIR claims that Sisodia and a few government officials also received financial kickbacks.
Badal further claimed that the excise policy in Delhi, now under CBI scanner, and in Punjab was formulated by the same team. Badal alleged that the same set of people that got the L1 liquor license in Delhi had received it in Punjab, claiming that he has a list of names to prove his claims.