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As AAP tries to play up the ‘corruption’ plank, targeting Adani, here are 7 questions they must answer about ED’s chargesheet in liquor scam

While Sanjay Singh has been raising 'corruption bogey' and falsely trying to implicate the Union Government of being hands-in-gloves with the Indian businessman, it must be mentioned that the Enforcement Directorate has already filed a supplementary chargesheet into the 'Delhi liquor policy scam.'

A week after Hindenburg Research published a report about the Adani Group, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh sought to exploit the precarious situation to target the Modi government.

On Thursday (February 2), he wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, demanding the confiscation of the passport of businessman Gautam Adani. He further accused the Adani Group of committing fraud and peddling lies.

“Adani’s mountain of lies and fraud is crumbling like a pack of cards. Crores of investors in the country are worried. Those who have invested in LIC, and SBI because both of them have given loans worth crores of rupees. The Prime Minister should come forward and address the issue,” he claimed.

Singh further added, “The Finance Minister should tell what the RBI, ED, and CBI are doing. Why is the government silent on such huge corruption? FPO is just the beginning, the mountain of lies will fall.”

Despite the allegations being trashed by the Indian conglomerate, Singh told ANI, “I have written a letter to PM, ED, and CBI demanding the confiscation of Adani’s passport, or else If he also flees from the country like other industrialists and capitalists, then crores of people of this country will be left with nothing.”

He also claimed that entities such as Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBi) continue to invest in the Adani Group, despite allegations of ‘money laundering’ and ‘theft’.

AAP cannot evade questions on Delhi liquor policy scam

While Sanjay Singh has been raising ‘corruption bogey’ and falsely trying to implicate the Union Government of being hands-in-gloves with the Indian businessman, it must be mentioned that the Enforcement Directorate has already filed a supplementary chargesheet into the ‘Delhi liquor policy scam.’

As such, the AAP leader must answer 7 key questions pertaining to the scam and the allegations surrounding the use of funds to fuel the party’s campaign in the State of Gujarat.

  1. Did AAP leader Vijay Nair hire an associate to arm-twist liquor business operators in Punjab?
  2. Did he use the ₹100 crores, obtained as a kickback from the ‘South Group’ for implementing the new liquor policy, to fund AAP’s election campaign in Goa?
  3. What was the role of Chariot Productions in the money laundering scheme?
  4. Did the entity specifically make cash payments for PR/ Advertising related work in Goa?
  5. How did businessman Dinesh Arora secure kickbacks for AAP from South Group?
  6. What was the role of Manaswani Prabhune in the Goa election campaign?
  7. Why did a Punjab-based businesswoman pay 51 lakhs to the State’s CM Relief Fund?

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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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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