After the Delhi government’s decision to scrap the new liquor policy (Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that it would reach out to people in the national capital and poll-bound Gujarat on how the it has been able to stem the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) efforts to “popularise liquor culture”.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced Saturday that the government’s ambitious new liquor policy would be scrapped entirely and from August 1, only government-owned liquor vendors will be allowed to sell alcohol in the city. This development came amidst the recently-launched probe against the excise department by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), due to alleged irregularities in its policy.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said the party volunteers would take the message to the ward level that the policy was intended to reduce revenue and increase sales of liquor.
He said the party cadres would reach out to people with the message that the government intended to reduce dry days, increase commission, lower age limit (for alcohol consumption), and increase the number of hours serving liquor. BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said that posters regarding the party’s hand at getting the policy revoked are being pasted across Delhi.
Khurana said: “The AAP has been targetting the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) but it had no concrete proof but now their minister Satyendra Jain is behind bars and they had to take back their liquor policy. This is what we will now take to people that their claims of being honest are not right,” he said.
A senior party leader said that it wants to send a message to the people of Gujarat as well, which is a ‘dry’ state, that the AAP wants to promote alcohol. Some members of BJP Delhi would go to Gujarat to campaign for the party, where they would bring up the issue, the leader said.
The AAP has till now hit back at the BJP saying that the latter wants to promote spurious liquor. Kejriwal, who is aggressively campaigning in Gujarat and taking on the BJP government, had said the people of Gujarat have two options, either to vote for BJP and get spurious liquor or to be in favour of the AAP to boost employment opportunities.
He was referring to the illicit liquor tragedy in the BJP-ruled state, which resulted in the death of at least 42 people over the past few days.
“Like Gujarat, the BJP wants spurious liquor to kill innocent people in Delhi too. It is threatening shop owners and officials in the name of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to promote its liquor mafia. We will not let the BJP sell even a drop of spurious liquor in Delhi. We will not let BJP play with the lives of Delhiites,” Kejriwal had said.