Manish Sisodia seeks CBI investigation into ex-LG’s change of stance on alcohol policy

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Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation against the former Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, Anil Baijal. He claimed that former LG’s decisions caused a loss to the treasury. This demand comes amid the battle between the Center and the Delhi government over Delhi’s excise tax policy.

“The Lieutenant Governor (LG) made a U-turn to help some liquor store owners. The LG changed its own policy as approved 48 hours earlier. His decision lost thousands of crores to the government and some retailers got the benefit of thousands crores. I wrote to the CBI to investigate the change in ex-LG’s stance on opening liquor stores in unauthorized areas,” Sisodia claimed at a news conference on Saturday.

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Manish Sisodia is currently facing fire from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which accuses the deputy prime minister of corruption in the implementation of drink policy.

“Under the new excise policy, 849 stores would be opened across Delhi, including in unauthorized areas. The LG did not object to the proposal and approved it,” said Sisodia.

The minister stated that the LG changed its position two days before the introduction of the policy. The LG introduced the condition of getting permission from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

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The Delhi government prepared the new excise policy when Anil Baijal was the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi. The excise policy was introduced on November 17, 2021 and licensed private liquor sellers.

Delhi’s new Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena highlighted policy loopholes and called for a CBI investigation, after which the Delhi government revoked the excise tax policy. The new excise policy will expire on August 31, and Delhi’s state-owned enterprises will operate retail liquor outlets from September 1, and there will be no private players in the segment.

VK Saxena also took seriously delays by investigative agencies such as Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) in investigating corruption complaints against government officials.

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He also expressed his displeasure at the fact that the administrative departments have delayed the information requested by the investigative agencies in complaints against the officials involved, according to an official statement.

With input from ANI.

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