Delhi: Kejriwal targets BJP after LG accuses Sisodia of corruption
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal defended Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday after Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena asked for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's Delhi Excise Policy and accused Sisodia of procedural errors. Meanwhile, Kejriwal claimed that the BJP-led Central government was scared of AAP's growth.
Why does this story matter?
The Delhi government has permitted pubs, clubs, and restaurants to stay open till 3:00 pm and sell liquor everywhere, even the terrace, under the new excise policy. It stated that the food and water stores will not operate outside the liquor store in order to prevent the open use of alcohol. Opposition parties charged the AAP administration with committing corruption with the new policy.
How did the Kejriwal react?
"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. Kejriwal accused the LG of creating "false allegations," claiming that he jailed Satyendra Jain, who worked in the health sector, and now wants to imprison Sisodia, who is responsible for making careers and lives of lakhs of children in Delhi.
Probe recommended following Chief Secretary report
The LG recommended a CBI inquiry based on the report of the Chief Secretary of Delhi. Officials said that procedural loopholes were deliberately left in the tender of the new excise policy so that liquor license holders get an undue advantage. Apart from this, violations of many rules have been mentioned in the July 8 report. The Excise Department is headed by Sisodia.
What did the LG allege?
While mentioning Sisodia's name, the LG stated that the report demonstrates top-level financial irregularities. He alleged that the new excise policy was implemented to favor private liquor dealers so that the financial gains might reach the individuals at the top of the government. Sisodia made several major judgments and acted in defiance of previously established regulations, LG alleged.
LG acting on Centre's behest: AAP
Following the probe order, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed that the LG is acting at the behest of the central government, which is unable to accept the party's rising popularity. According to AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, the Prime Minister and his party are envious of Kejriwal and his recent triumphs and would go to any length to defeat him.