The BJP has lashed out at Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi party over its allegations that the Central Bureau of Investigation is being misused by the center following the arrest of Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. “Event management cannot save AAP from the law,” said BJP’s Sambit Patra, wondering why AAP chose to withdraw the controversial liquor policy when his party questioned it.
AAP has claimed that Mr Sisodia’s arrest tonight in connection with the now-repealed liquor policy is the BJP’s political retaliation for its failure to secure the Delhi mandate.
“Manish Sisodia, other AAP leaders never explained why they withdrew excise policy after corruption was flagged… Delhi excise policy was leaked by AAP to ‘friends’ of liquor vendors before sending it to the Group of Ministers,” the deputy told Lord Patra. reporters at a press conference tonight. “AAP spread liquor culture in Delhi and lost liquor money in election campaign,” he added.
In an exclusive interview with NewsMadura, Manjinder Singh Sirsa of the BJP said, “He may have worked in education. But that doesn’t mean he has to indulge in corruption in liquor policy”.
The reference was to Mr. Sisodia’s education and finance portfolios, two areas that AAP cites as the reason for its huge popularity. AAP has won two landslide victories in Delhi in the face of the BJP challenge and a landslide victory in neighboring Punjab last year.
“Black day for democracy! BJP’s CBI arrested the world’s top education minister Manish Sisodia in a bogus case, shaping the future of lakhs children. The BJP made this arrest because of political rivalry,” read a rough translation of AAP’s Hindi tweet after the arrest . The party called it an attack on the Delhi administration and Arvind Kejriwal.
Mr Patra claimed that Mr Sisodia must be the only education minister in the world involved in a liquor scam. “Manish Sisodia, you played with children’s futures,” he added.
Mr Sisodia and others are facing corruption allegations in connection with a new liquor sales policy in 2021. The CBI alleges that liquor companies were involved in drafting the policy, for which a bribe of Rs 100 crore was paid by a liquor lobby that favored the called the “South Group”.
The policy would have resulted in a 12 percent profit for them, 6 percent of which went to officials through intermediaries, the agency claimed.
The Enforcement Directorate has also launched an investigation into bribe money laundering.
After the policy was scrapped, the BJP said the Delhi government went back to the old liquor sales policy to cover up corruption.
Mr Sisodia was asked to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation for questioning last Sunday, but he asked for more time, citing the pending Delhi budget. Earlier, he had faced a nine-hour interrogation by officials from the Enforcement Directorate, after which he claimed the officials had asked him to quit AAP.
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