New Delhi [India], February 3 (ANI): BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh on Friday demanded a central agency inquiry into the alleged excise scam in Punjab, which happened soon after the AAP government came to power.
Chugh said that an in-depth inquiry should be conducted into how money laundering took place in Punjab as well after a prolonged tug-of-war between the AAP government and liquor cartels.
He suspected that the money laundering in Punjab might have been used by AAP in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections.
Chugh said media reports suggest that a liquor nexus mafia comprising Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sateyndra Jain and K. Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister KCR, operated in Delhi to extort money running into crores of rupees.
He said that a similar exercise was conducted in Punjab as well which needed an in-depth inquiry.
He said that the investigation into alleged kickbacks of Rs 100 crore related to the excise policy revealed that part of these funds was used in the election campaign of AAP for the Goa Assembly elections 2022.
He also alleged that it was a grave matter of national security that a cartel was created by top AAP leaders to continuously generate illegal funds.
"Liquor nexus mafia comprising Kejriwal, Sisodia, Jain and K. Kavitha, daughter of Telangana CM KCR, operated in Delhi to extort money running into crores of rupees," alleged BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh.
A new Excise Policy of the Delhi government was introduced in November 2021 but soon scrapped after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended the CBI probe.
The charge sheet had named seven accused, including AAP's communications chief, Sisodia's close aide Vijay Nair, and Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Boinpally.
Sisodia had demanded action against the Chief Secretary and the resignation of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena. The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary's report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.
An alleged, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. (ANI)