SAD alleges ‘Delhi-like’ liquor scam worth Rs 500 crore in Punjab

Badal said “now when an FIR had been registered in the Delhi excise scam, the same should be done in case of Punjab also”.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (Photo | PTI)
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (Photo | PTI)

CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said the party would appeal to the Punjab Governor to take action in the “Rs 500-crore excise scam” involving the ruling AAP.

SAD will also file complaints with the CBI and ED about the alleged kickbacks received by AAP from the liquor cartel in Punjab. “There should be a free and fair inquiry involving all political leaders — including Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and MP Raghav Chadha as well as Punjab government officials who facilitated the scam,’’ said the SAD chief.

Badal claimed that the AAP government in Punjab had followed the “Delhi model” while framing the excise policy, and said his party will appeal to the Punjab Governor to take action. Badal said, "Now when an FIR had been registered in the Delhi excise scam, the same should be done in the case of Punjab also."

“The policy and policymakers are the same. The modus operandi to loot the state exchequer is the same,” he said here. “Like in Delhi, nearly the entire liquor trade in Punjab was handed over to two companies,” he alleged, adding the profit margin of the two companies was doubled to facilitate a quid pro quo. The SAD chief said while framing the new excise policy, the AAP-led Punjab government followed its counterpart in Delhi.

“It stipulated that each liquor manufacturing company would choose one licensee to sell its products in the state and that the L-1 (wholesale) licensee should not be a manufacturer in India or abroad. It also stated that L-1 licensees should have a turnover of at least `30 crore per annum and should not have any stake in the retail market in Punjab. Such terms took the Punjab liquor traders out of the race,” he said. Sukhbir said AAP had followed the ‘Delhi Model’ of development while framing the Punjab excise policy.

“Therefore, like in Delhi, nearly the entire liquor trade was handed over to the two companies.’’ He said the profit margin of the two companies doubled to facilitate a quid pro quo. "Hundreds of crores have been passed back to the AAP government in Punjab and the AAP leadership in Delhi." He said the kickbacks should be probed to see if these were received from the liquor cartel in Delhi to contest Punjab polls by AAP.

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