The tussle between the Centre and Delhi government over the Delhi excise policy row continued to brew as Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday demanded a CBI probe against former Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal alleging his decisions had caused a loss to the exchequer.
"The Lieutenant Governor (LG) took a u-turn to benefit some liquor shop owners. The LG changed his own policy as approved 48 hours earlier. Due to his decision, thousands of crores were lost to the government and some shopkeepers got the benefit of thousands of crores. I've written to the CBI to probe ex-LG's change of stance on opening of liquor shops in unauthorized areas," Sisodia alleged in a press conference on Saturday.
The Delhi deputy chief minister is facing fire from the BJP which has alleged corruption in the implementation of the liquor policy by the AAP government. Sisodia, however, hit out at the former LG who was a appointed the ruling BJP at the Centre.
"Under the new excise policy, 849 shops were to be opened across Delhi, including in unauthorised areas. The LG did not object to the proposal and approved it," Sisodia said.
He said that the LG had changed his stance two days before the implementation of the policy, introducing a condition that permission from the Delhi Development Authority and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi would be needed.
Baijal was the Delhi LG when the Arvind Kejriwal government prepared the new excise policy, which was implemented on November 17, 2021. The government has now withdrawn the policy and is preparing to run liquor vends under the old excise regime through its undertakings from September 1. The excise policy under which the private liquor vends are currently being run in the city comes to an end on August 31. The Delhi government corporations will run retail liquor vends from September 1 and there will be no private players in the segment.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Tuesday took a serious view of procedural lapses and delays by investigating agencies like the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) in the course of an investigation into complaints or cases of corruption against government officials.
G Saxena has also expressed displeasure over concerned administrative departments not furnishing or delaying comments sought by the investigating agencies in complaints against their officials, according to an official statement.