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Goodbye messages by AAP leaders and supporters to Manish Sisodia, called by CBI for questioning, hilariously read like premature obituaries

Before heading towards the CBI office, Manish Sisodia made a big spectacle and appealed to his supporters to take care of his ailing wife living alone in the house and his son studying in university

On Sunday (February 26), Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection to the excise policy scam case.

Prior to his visit to the CBI office, Sisodia and other AAP leaders created a spectacle in the hopes of gaining public sympathy. This included addresses to the media and his supporters, a visit to Raj Ghat and a reiteration of his supposed integrity and family values. While the deputy CM has been called only for questioning, AAP tried to insinuate that he has been arrested and made baffling comments.

“I can go to jail a number of times and I am not afraid. When I left my job as a journalist, my wife supported me and even today, my family is standing by my side…I’m a follower of Bhagat Singh. Bhagat Singh went to the gallows for the country,” Manish Sisodia announced before heading towards the CBI office. He said that his wife will be alone in the house while his son is in university. He appealed to his supporters to take care of his ailing wife.

In a bid to showcase their allegiance to Manish Sisodia, some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders clearly went overboard. At one point, their goodbye messages were not distinguishable from premature obituaries. Leading the pack of such leaders was none other than Arvind Kejriwal.

The AAP chief could not hold back his emotions, knowing that his Bharat Ratna-deserving sidekick was going to be grilled by the CBI. Pretending that the worst is going to happen, an empathetic Arvind Kejriwal even vowed to take care of Manish Sisodia’s wife and son.

“We will take care of ur family Manish, don’t worry,” Tweeted Arvind Kejriwal as if CBI was going to put Sisodia in jail for months and his family will need to be looked after.

Similar sob messages, hailing Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, were posted by other AAP cheerleaders. “You can arrest Manish Sisodia but not his ideas. He is unstoppable,” wrote one supporter.

Deviating public discourse from liquor to education

Besides their attempt to stir a sympathy wave in favour of scam accused Manish Sisodia, prominent AAP leaders deliberately tried to mislead the public about his interrogation.

Instead of presenting facts in his defence, they suggested that Manish Sisodia was being questioned for allegedly being a good education minister and not for his role in the Delhi liquor policy scam case,

“Today, the eyes of 18 lakh children studying in government schools of Delhi are moist because BJP is getting their beloved Manish uncle arrested. This is the BJP government, here the one who holds books in the hands of children is considered the biggest criminal,” wrote AAP leader Raghav Chadha.

Controversial AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon wrote, “Instead of using the force of the government to provide law and order, to safeguard citizens the whole might is used to arrest one man who is teaching poor children – Manish Sisodia.”

“Manish Sisodia had the option to accept offer from BJP and back stab @arvindkejriwal. Instead, he opted to decline and focus on his education model. Result: CBI to arrest him now,” wrote one AAP supporter, falsely asserting about Delhi Deputy CM’s arrest.

“Manish Sisodia brought revolution in the field of education that was applauded even by his rivals and the reforms were praised throughout the world,” claimed another AAP cheerleader.

Understanding the Delhi liquor policy scam

The now-scrapped liquor policy of the Delhi government was originally proposed in 2020. After coming into effect in November 2021, it changed the manner in which alcohol was sold in Delhi.

Until then, only government-owned liquor vendors were permitted to sell alcohol. The Delhi Excise Policy 2021-2022 introduced private players in the market. The National Capital was divided into 32 zones and a total of 27 private vendors were to ply in each zone.

Every municipal ward had 2-3 liquor vendors operating in the area. The private liquor shops were allowed to attract crowds by offering discounts on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). They could deliver liquor at home, and even keep shops open till 3 am in the morning.

The drastic policy change resulted in a 27% increase in government revenue to ₹8900 crores. At the same time, it marked the complete exit of the Delhi government from the liquor business.

While the objective of Excise Policy 2021-2022 was to end black marketing and the liquor mafia, the AAP government soon came under fire over allegations of corruption. Naresh Kumar, who was appointed the Chief Secretary of Delhi in April 2022, found irregularities and procedural lapses in the new liquor policy. 

The Chief Secretary prepared a report and sought the response of Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the head of the Excise Department. The report blamed the Deputy CM for making changes to the excise policy without the authorisation of the Lieutenant Governor and providing ‘undue benefits’ to the liquor vendors.

Manish Sisodia reportedly waived off ₹144.36 crores on the license fee, to be paid by the private liquor vendors, under the garb of the Coronavirus pandemic. He also caused loss to the Excise Department and benefitted liquor licensees by waiving the import pass fee of ₹50 per beer case.

All these changes were made without the final approval of the Lieutenant Governor and thus considered illegal under the Delhi Excise Rules of 2010 and Transaction of Business Rules of 1993. The CBI had therefore registered a case against Vijay Nair and 14 others and later arrested Nair in September 2022.

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Searched termsManish Sisodia arrest
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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