On Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manoj Nagpal tendered his resignation from the party amid the ongoing controversy revolving around the excise scam in Delhi. This came a day after CBI booked 15 people including Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia following hours of raids into the alleged excise fraud. Nagpal stated that the party which once led campaigns against corruption was now itself involved in corruption.
Manoj Nagpal, the Subhash Nagar ward party President tweeted his resignation letter and said, “Today I resign from AAP party. Please accept and oblige”. The letter was also posted by Delhi BJP Spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. “AAP leader resigned after Manish Sisodia scam”, he tweeted.
In the handwritten resignation letter, Manoj Nagpal said that the party which used to fight against corruption was now itself practicing corruption. He added that the excise scam had played a major role in ruining the party’s character. “AAP today has become a corrupt party. AAP’s excise policy boosted the youngsters to consume more alcohol and furthered their addiction”, he said.
He also said that one of the private liquor shops in his ward was provided a license illegally. “Many people from within the ward opposed but to no avail. When I asked the AAP leaders for help, I was asked to shut up. The AAP leaders instead threatened me and said that I would be forced to leave the party”, he added. Nagpal further alleged that AAP never gave respect to its party members. “The Aam Aadmi Party initially used to say that the Congress leaders are corrupt. But during the municipal elections in January 2022, AAP had invited the ‘so-called honest’ Congress leaders and asked the AAP members to look after them”, he said.
Signing the resignation letter he said that he was feeling suffocated in the party and that he wanted to be free from all the responsibilities of the party. The CBI yesterday named Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in an FIR filed into the alleged excise fraud. CBI FIR stated that Manish Sisodia and Excise officials were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions about excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority to extend undue favors to the licensees post tender
The policy was proposed in 2020 and came into force in November 2021. Delhi was divided into 32 zones, each with 27 liquor vends. It also marked the end of the government’s sale of alcohol, only private liquor shops functioned in the city, with 2-3 vends in each mayoral ward. The objectives of the policy were to put a stop to the liquor mafia and black marketing, raise income and improve the customer experience, and ensure equal distribution of liquor vends.
The government also made laws more flexible for licensees, such as enabling them to provide discounts and establish their pricing rather than selling at the government-mandated MRP. Following it, vendors gave discounts, attracting people. Following opposition rallies, the tax agency temporarily suspended discounts. Reports mention that the excise policy 2021-22 helped the government to earn increased revenue, generating around Rs 8900 crore.
Sisodia reportedly changed the excise policy without the LG’s consent, such as providing a remission of Rs. 144.36 crores on the surrendered licensing fee due to the COVID-19 epidemic.