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Manish Sisodia most honest; BJP scared of AAP’s expansion: Arvind Kejriwal after LG calls for CBI probe into Delhi Excise Policy

“I’ve known Sisodia for 22 years and I have never seen anyone as honest or as much of a deshbhakt as him,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said.

cambridge university manish sisodia world education forum 2022Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. (File)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday defended Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena called for a CBI probe into the AAP government’s Delhi Excise Policy and accused Sisodia of procedural lapses.

“I’ve known Sisodia for 22 years and I have never seen anyone as honest or as much of a deshbhakt as him,” Kejriwal said. Accusing the LG of making “false allegations”, Kejriwal added, “you arrested Satyendra Jain, who was working in the health sector, and now want to put Sisodia, who is making careers and lives of lakhs of children in Delhi, in jail.”

Calling his political adversaries the “children of Savarkar”, Kejriwal said, “we are the children of Bhagat Singh, who refused to bow his head before the British and was hanged to death.” “We are not afraid of jail,” he added.

Saxena recommended the CBI inquiry after a recent report by the Chief Secretary established violations of the Delhi Excise Act 2009. He alleged that Sisodia was providing undue benefits to liquor licensees. It has also been alleged that AAP may have used this money during the Punjab elections.

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The report by the Chief Secretary to the LG is in accordance with Rule 57 of the ToBR 1993, which mandates the former to flag any deviation from laid down procedures to the Lt Governor and the Chief Minister, the sources informed.

The AAP government’s excise policy, which was widely opposed by the Opposition, was introduced in the middle of the deadly Delta wave of the Covid-19 pandemic vide a Kejriwal-headed Cabinet. “It was done so with the sole aim of benefitting private liquor barons in lieu of financial benefits to individuals at the highest echelons of the government leading up to Deputy CM Manish Sisodia,” the sources said.

Sisodia, who is in-charge of the excise department, has allegedly allowed a “waiver of Rs 144.36 crore singularly to the liquor cartel, on the tendered license fee under the excuse of Covid-19 pandemic”.

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Denying the allegations, Kejriwal said: “BJP is behind us and they are now scared of the party’s expansion across the country.”

AAP will not be deterred by attempts to bring it down, the Delhi Chief Minister said. “They cannot see us rise to a national level thus they are resorting to such measures. But nothing will stop us.”

First published on: 22-07-2022 at 02:04:31 pm
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