Jalandhar: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded the immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of MP Raghav Chadha as well as all others who attended the meeting held at the residence of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on May 30, 2022, stating the meeting resulted in the Punjab excise policy and subsequent loot of the Punjab exchequer to the tune of Rs 400 crore.
Addressing a press conference here, SAD general secretary Parambans Singh Romana said the findings of the Enforcement Directorate vis a vis corruption in the Delhi excise policy were consistent with the complaint submitted by the SAD to the Punjab Governor on August 31, 2022 with regard to a similar scam in the Punjab excise policy.
“For the truth to come out a FIR relating to the Punjab excise policy should be registered immediately and the CBI and ED should arrest all those involved including Raghav Chadha, businessman Vijay Nair and officers and manufacturers who colluded to loot the Punjab exchequer”.
Asking Raghav Chadha not to jump the gun by proclaiming his innocence in the case, Parambans Romana said “an FIR is yet to be registered in the matter. Chadha should clarify if he was present in the May 30, 2022 meeting at the residence of the Delhi deputy CM or not. If he was present, then he has a lot of answer to and should be ready to face the music”.
Romana said the fact of the matter was that the Punjab excise policy was tailor made to ensure a quid pro quo between those who got the excise contracts and the top AAP leadership.
“A monopolistic policy was made with the major share of liquor trade being handed to two companies – Brindco and Anant Wines. The commission due to the licensees was also increased from five per cent to ten per cent”. He said even the presence of businessman Vijay Nair besides Punjab government officials was important as Nair was the architect of the Delhi excise policy and had been given the mandate to make a similar policy for Punjab.
Romana said both chief minister Bhagwant Mann and excise minister Harpal Cheema owed an explanation to Punjabis as to why they allowed the Delhi AAP leadership and Raghav Chadha to take a final decision on the Punjab excise policy. He said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on record to have said that the Punjab excise policy was an exact replica of the Delhi policy.
Asserting that only a thorough probe would unravel the real truth of the Kattar Beiman Sarkar, Romana said “the SAD on its part has submitted all evidence of wrongdoing committed by the AAP government, its officials and private persons to Governor Banwarilal Purohit and the same could be forwarded to the CBI and ED.