Expressing “grave objection” to the “deliberately misleading” allegations made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia against former lieutenant governor (L-G) Anil Baijal related to the Delhi excise policy, current L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena has advised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to ensure that his colleagues in the government and party refrain from “such petty behaviour and statements”.
“LG VK Saxena, having read the clear & categorical statement issued by former LG, Sri Anil Baijal, expressed grave objection to the deliberately misleading, baseless & motivated allegations made by Manish Sisodia & other AAP leaders against Baijal over last few days,” the L-G office said in a tweet on Tuesday evening.
“Saxena further has advised the Chief Minister, Shri Arvind Kejriwal to ensure that his colleagues in the Government and party, refrain from such petty behaviour and statements,” read another tweet.
Saxena’s reactions follow a statement issued by Baijal, who rejected the allegations levelled against him by Sisodia, in connection with the new liquor policy, as “baseless” and “motivated”. “They are nothing but blatant lies and falsehoods being perpetrated by a desperate man to save his own skin,” Baijal had said.
Last week, Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) requesting a probe into what he claimed was a sudden change in former L-G Baijal’s decision on opening vends in unauthorised areas. This caused “thousands of crores of losses” to the Delhi government, he alleged. He had also claimed the change in decision came “48 hours before implementation of the policy on ground” on November 17, 2021.
However, Baijal denied all these allegations and said the facts are now in the public domain and as an L-G, he had upheld constitutional values and laws of the land, in letter and spirit, during his tenure.
“The record will speak for itself; I dismiss the claims made by the government and its excise minister in toto. Time and investigation will reveal the truth. As a public functionary, I have always worked with the highest degree of moral values and ethics,” he said.
Meanwhile, responding to Baijal’s statement, the Delhi government said: “Instead of diverting from the actual issue, the ex-L-G needs to answer what made him change his stand just 48 hours before opening of shops? Why did he deliberately cause so much loss to the government and give undue favours to selected licensees? Who forced him to take a stand against the policy passed by the cabinet and L-G himself?”
The new liquor policy was scrapped on July 30 and the old excise regime that existed before November 17 was brought back. From September 1, only government liquor shops will open in Delhi for the next six months.