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NCP Asks Dy CM Manish Sisodia To ‘Expose’ BJP, Release Recording of ‘CM Offer’

In Gujarat, Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the BJP has decided to remove its state president CR Paatil out of "fear."

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday, 23 August, asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to “expose” the the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) attempts to topple the Delhi government by releasing the purported recording of the “offer” made to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Sisodia had claimed that the saffron party offered to make him the Delhi Chief Minister and drop all cases against him if he joined the BJP and broke the AAP.

NCP spokesperson Clyde Castro said that if these claims are true, such offers from the BJP were dangerous for democracy in India.

Castro said, “There was talk of similar offers to MLAs in Maharashtra and eventually the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government fell. AAP says they have a recording of the 'Offer', why wait? Release it and expose BJP.”

On Monday, Sisodia claimed, "BJP's message has come to me – break AAP and join BJP, we will get all CBI and ED cases closed."

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Subsequently, the ruling BJP hit back at the deputy CM, accusing him of trying to deflect attention from corruption charges he is up against.

‘BJP Scared, Removed State Prez CR Paatil': Kejriwal in Gujarat

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alongside Manish Sisodia begun the second day of their visit to Gujarat, where elections are due later this year.

On Tuesday, Kejriwal claimed the ruling BJP in Gujarat is afraid of the AAP and hence has decided to remove its state president CR Paatil.

Kejriwal tweeted, "BJP in Gujarat is afraid of AAP. According to sources, BJP has decided to remove CR Paatil as its state unit president. Is BJP this much scared of AAP?"

Hitting back at the Delhi CM, BJP Gujarat media coordinator Yagnesh Dave asked Kejriwal to "stop daydreaming” and focus on himself “instead of thinking about Paatil.”

"Instead of thinking about CR Paatil, you should focus on yourself," Dave said.

Gujarat BJP spokesperson Rutvij Patel also hit out at Kejriwal and tweeted, “Revdilal ji, politics and public service can not be done as per sources. Instead of BJP, you should worry about yourself and your liquor minister (Sisodia)."

'AAP Pitching Kejriwal as Alternative to PM Modi': BJP 

The BJP on Tuesday, claimed that the AAP government in Delhi ignored infractions in implementing the excise policy and not considering recommendations of an expert committee set up to reform liquor trade in the capital.

BJP MP Sudhanshu Trivedi, at a press conference, said that the expert committee was against promotions to push liquor sales but the Delhi government gave a carton free on every carton sold.

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"The policy says the license fee should be forfeited if the applicant does not accept the license after winning the bid within a stipulated time. The AAP government returned Rs 144 crore to such persons but did not waive a single rupee of small businessmen during the COVID pandemic.”

Verma added that the new excise policy has caused a loss of Rs 6,500 crore to the government exchequer, which itself is a crime.

"They have been deflecting questions and pitching Kejriwal as an alternative to PM Modi (for 2024 general elections)... They have been patting each other on the back," he said.

On October 25, 2021, the Delhi excise department had brought some cases of common producers, retailers and distributors to the notice of the government, but it did not act on it, he claimed

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What Is the CBI Case Against Sisodia?

Following its 12-hour-long raids at the AAP leader's residence, the CBI on Friday, 19 August, listed 16 accused, including Sisodia, in its FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of Delhi’s excise policy introduced in November 2021.

The central investigation agency has named Sisodia as the prime accused in the case, which has been registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The FIR stated that Sisodia, then Delhi Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, and two other senior excise department officials were "instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post-tender."

The CBI also raided around 20 other locations in Delhi-NCR, including the premises of Arava Gopi Krishna. The CBI inquiry was recommended in a report filed by the Delhi chief secretary in July.

The report allegedly showed prima facie violations of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 1992, the Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR), 1993, Delhi Excise Act, 2009, and the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Topics:  Manish Sisodia   BJP   NCP 

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