Ex-LG Baijal tears into Manish Sisodia allegation

Ex-LG says, he had discharged “constitutional responsibility” over allocation of liquor vends
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal (Photo | PTI)
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Days after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the state excise and finance minister, blamed ex-lieutenant governor Anil Baijal for making a “U-turn” on the new excise policy, the latter rubbished the allegations as “baseless” and “motivated” in a statement issued on Tuesday.

In the statement from ex-LG Baijal, a copy of which this newspaper has seen, he accused Sisodia of “manipulating figures” to show record revenue from the scheme initially. “Levelling allegations against the LG has been a norm, ever since the AAP formed government in Delhi. The allegations made against me are baseless and motivated against me by the deputy CM who seems desperate to save his own skin… During the implementation of the new excise policy, I had on multiple occasions flagged the unlawful decisions taken by the AAP government, which had to be amended in files, and are now in the public domain,” the statement read.

Baijal further said that in the matter of opening of liquor vends in non-conforming areas he discharged his “constitutional responsibility” as no law in Delhi allows for opening of such vends in these areas. “In view of multiple cases, from the said period, I had decided to set up a committee under the chairmanship of DDA vice-chairperson.

This committee in its report dated December 10, 2021 was of the view that as regards with 67 non-confirming wards, the excise department can consider allowing the licensee of such wards to open additional vends in the confirming areas of such adjoining wards where confirming areas exist. No permission was granted for opening liquor vends in non-confirming areas,” Baijal said.

Sisodia had last week for the first time acknowledged that the AAP-led government had incurred losses to the tune of “thousands of crores of rupees” under the new excise policy 2021-22, but while doing so he blamed it squarely on then LG Baijal alleging that he had made a “U-turn just 48 hours before implantation of the policy in November 2021”.

Sisodia had alleged that this sudden change in stance by the LG – because of which at least 300-350 liquor vends could not open in unauthorised colonies. The government, reacting to Baijal’s allegations, said that instead of diverting from the actual issue, the ex-LG needs to answer, what made him change his stand just 48 hours before opening of the shops?

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