This Article is From Feb 04, 2023

Huge BJP Protest Against Arvind Kejriwal Over Delhi Liquor Policy Case

Arvind Kejriwal has refuted allegations that "kickbacks" from the now-scrapped liquor sales policy were used to fund the AAP's election campaign in Goa last year.

BJP workers clashed with the police outside the AAP headquarters.

New Delhi:

The BJP on Saturday organised a huge protest outside the Aam Aadmi Party's offices in Delhi, demanding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's resignation over allegations of corruption linked to the now-scrapped liquor sales policy.

BJP workers were seen clashing with the police and trying to breach the barricades put up to control the crowd. Others stood with placards and shouted slogans.

The BJP has targeted the Chief Minister over the recently filed second charge sheet by the Enforcement Directorate and said it proved that he was involved in corruption.

A court on Thursday accepted the supplementary charge sheet against five individuals and seven companies in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy.

The policy was withdrawn last year by the AAP government after a CBI probe was ordered by the capital's Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, a representative of the BJP-led government at the centre.

The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes and also reports to the BJP-led government at the centre, claimed that a part of the alleged Rs 100 crore "kickbacks" earned from the policy was used in the AAP's campaign for last year's Goa assembly election.

Mr Kejriwal has strongly refuted all charges, and said that the case was "fake" and aimed to help the BJP "topple" governments.

The agency has also claimed that an accused in the alleged scam - Aam Aadmi Party communications in-charge Vijay Nair -- had arranged a FaceTime video call from his phone between Mr Kejriwal and the boss of a liquor firm who has been arrested.

On behalf of AAP leaders, Vijay Nair received Rs 100 crore as advance for licenses in Delhi liquor policy, the agency has alleged.

Vijay is "his boy," and Mr Kejriwal had apparently told Sameer Mahendru, chief of Indospirits, to "trust him and carry on with him," the ED has claimed in the chargesheet, which has been accessed by NDTV. Mr Kejriwal is not named in the chargesheet as an accused.

AAP sources claimed that there is no truth in the allegations of the Enforcement Directorate and that Sameer Mahendru has told a court that his statement was obtained under duress.

The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have claimed that irregularities were committed while modifying Delhi's excise policy with connivance and kickbacks from a lobby known as the "South Group".

The group comprised Kavitha of Telangana's ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Magunta Srinivasalu Reddy, an MP from Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress, and Sarath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma, the agency has alleged.

Under it, the licence fee was waived or reduced, and undue favours were extended to liquor licence holders, the agencies have claimed.

Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has been named as an accused and questioned in the case. The others accused in the case include then Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.

AAP had claimed that the case, which came up in the run-up to the Gujarat elections, was a diversionary tactic of the BJP, which later swept the polls. Mr Sisodia, after a nine-hour questioning session by the Enforcement Directorate officials, claimed they asked him to quit AAP.