Chandigarh: Following the arrest of Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia in a case relating to Delhi’s excise policy, Punjab’s Leader of the Opposition (LoP), Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday sought a thorough probe by the Enforcement Directorate on Punjab’s liquor policy.
Senior Congress Leader Bajwa said the Aam Aadmi Party after forming the government in Punjab had implemented a similar excise policy in Punjab. Meanwhile, Delhi’s deputy CM had been facing serious corruption charges. The possibility of alleged corruption in Punjab cannot be ruled out.
“Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government’s liquor policy also becomes suspicious as it gave undue favours to a very few liquor companies and traders while the other pushed out of the competition”, Bajwa alleged.
In a statement, Bajwa said that with the aim to boost revenue by reducing the price of alcohol, the new excise policy of the AAP government in Punjab which became operational on July 1. In September last year, ED conducted search operations at the residences of Excise and Taxation Commissioner of the time Varun Roojam and then Joint Commissioner Naresh Dubey. They framed the excise policy of the state. The Mann government had gone into a completely silent mode after that.
Bajwa said that the 70 per cent allotment of wholesale liquor licences for Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and Bottled-in-Origin (BIO) brands in Punjab was given to two companies namely Brindco and Anant Wines. These two companies are already charge-sheeted by the CBI in Delhi.
“Now, after the senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy CM, has been arrested by the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate must carry on their probe on Punjab’s liquor policy to bring it to a logical end”, Bajwa added.
Qadian Legislator, Bajwa said that the AAP government’s excise policy has been controversial ever since it was formed. In July itself It was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for allegedly monopolising the liquor trade. “I have been critical of the AAP liquor policy and kept questioning it at various platforms”, Bajwa added.