Dy CM Manish Sisodia gets CBI summon in Delhi excise duty scam
NEW DELHI : Delhi deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has been summoned by the CBI for questioning in Delhi excise duty scam. The Delhi government has been accused of a policy to grant licenses to liquor traders and favored certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Notably, Sisodia has not been named as accused in the charge sheet. Arrested businessmen Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally were among the seven accused named in the charge sheet.
Confirming the news, Manish Sisodia tweeted, “CBI has again called me tomorrow. They are using full power of CBI, ED against me… Raided my house, and searched bank locker, but nothing was found against me. I have made arrangements for good education for the children of Delhi. They want to stop me. I have always cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so.”
Manish Sisodia on Saturday said he has been called for questioning over the liquor policy case again, alleging that the “full power” of agencies under the BJP-led central government had been unleashed to hound him. “CBI has called me again tomorrow. They have unleashed the full power of CBI, ED (Enforcement Directorate) against me, raided my house, searched my bank locker, and yet found nothing against me,” the Deputy Chief Minister tweeted in Hindi. “I have arranged good education for the children of Delhi. They want to stop it. I have always cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so,” he added.
According to sources, Mr Sisodia has been asked to appear at 11 am at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Delhi on Sunday. He will be questioned again based on new information that has come to light from a string of fresh arrests. In an investigation prompted last year by the centre’s representative to the capital’s government, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the CBI has closed in on Mr Sisodia, alleging a corruption scandal in the rollout of a now-scrapped liquor sales policy.
Alleging the involvement of the “highest levels” of Mr Kejriwal’s government in the swindle, the agency claimed crores in kickbacks were paid for favours in the policy and funded into his Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) election campaign in Goa last year. The AAP has dismissed the charges as “vendetta” and efforts by the BJP, which governs at the centre, to settle political scores in an escalating face-off, the latest round of which saw Mr Kejriwal’s party scoop a huge win in the Supreme Court a day ago.
In a major takedown of the Lt Governor, the top court cancelled his orders on the election of a mayor for the city, which favored the BJP. Mr Kejriwal said the order showed how Mr Saxena was brazenly bent on helping the BJP. Attacking the AAP at a news conference, Delhi BJP working President Virendra Sachdeva said, “As always, Kejriwal has shamelessly lied that the liquor policy scam never happened. If the scam never happened, why did AAP rollback the policy after CBI’s investigation?”
BJP MP Parvesh Verma said, “We have made so many allegations. Kejriwal never went for a defamation case against us. Why doesn’t Kejriwal go for a Norco test on the scam? If he says he hasn’t done a scam in the narco test, I’ll leave politics.” “If Sisodia gets arrested tomorrow, they’ll again say that it’s because CBI is colluding with BJP,” he added.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).