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Liquor row: ED raids more locations; Kejriwal asks: ‘What’s the scam?’

Sources said the searches are largely on the premises of vendors, distributors and middlemen suspected to be associated with the case and do not include the premises of any AAP leader.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File)

The Enforcement Directorate Friday launched search operations at 40 locations across the country linked to its money laundering probe in connection with the Delhi liquor policy. Sources said searches are being carried out in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore, Chennai and Delhi-NCR.

Sources said the searches are largely on the premises of vendors, distributors and middlemen suspected to be associated with the case and do not include the premises of any AAP leader.

The raids come a day after the BJP released a video of yet another “sting operation” against the AAP, alleging that an accused in the liquor scam can be heard saying that the now-scrapped policy was formulated in a way that benefited a select few.

On September 6, the ED conducted searches at 35 locations across Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh and Jalandhar in the same case. The agency registered a case of money laundering in the matter in the first week of this month based on the CBI FIR against Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and 14 others.

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Amid the ongoing CBI probe in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi Excise policy and Enforcement Directorate’s search operations, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said that the Centre is using the investigation agencies to threaten everyone in the country.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, “They should arrest Manish Sisodia if he has done something wrong. I still don’t understand what is the scam in the liquor policy. They talk about different amounts every day… One leader says Rs 1.5 lakh crore scam, how come anyone can commit such a big scam, Delhi’s annual budget is just Rs 70,000 crore. Another leader says Rs 8,000 crore scam, the L-G said Rs 144 crore… while CBI in its FIR has written Rs 1 crore. What is the scam?.”

“They raided Manish’s house and found nothing, not even a single penny. They could not find anything in his bank locker, they even questioned people from his village to see if he had bought land but found nothing. What is this? I feel that the central government, instead of obsessing over CBI-ED from morning to evening, should focus on public development works like us (AAP),” said the CM.

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“How will India progress if you do not work for the country. CBI-ED, CBI-ED is their refrain all day. They have threatened everyone in the country. Arresting those who are working for the public and using CBI and ED to threaten everyone, what is this? Have you seen our press conferences, 95 per cent of them are on positive things… 1,100 students of Delhi government school have cleared NEET and JEE exams, do good work like this,” he said.

Following the recommendations of the L-G, the CBI initiated an investigation into the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2020-21. Responding to the BJP on its “sting operation” against the AAP, wherein an accused in the liquor scam can be heard saying the excise policy was formulated in a way that a select few got benefits, Kejriwal said, “What are these sources? I cannot understand what is the scam in the Delhi Liquor Policy…”

He said, “Manish Sisodia has already said that CBI is investigating the matter, give these sting operations to it and arrest him by Monday… Probe the matter and arrest him if you find discrepancies and if you don’t find any, apologise to him. Four days is enough for the probe.”

First published on: 16-09-2022 at 12:37:41 pm
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