Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena Friday recommended an investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation into the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s contentious new excise policy.
A July 8 report by the Chief Secretary established several violations of established law “in addition to deliberate and gross procedural lapses to provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees”, an official release from Saxena’s office said.
The LG said the report indicates “substantial” financial favours at the top political level. The report also directly named Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The LG alleged that the new excise policy was implemented “with the sole aim” of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to individuals at the highest echelons of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia.
The LG went on to say: “Minister In-charge of the Excise Department, Manish Sisodia took and got executed, major decisions/actions in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified Excise Policy that had huge financial implications.”
Meanwhile Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal defended Sisodia by calling his deputy “most honest.”
“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.
Denying the allegations, Kejriwal said: “BJP is behind us and they are now scared of the party’s expansion across the country.”