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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Cong attacks SAD as tax officials find unaccounted alcohol

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, May 04, 2013
First Published: 18:18 IST(4/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:15 IST(5/5/2013)

Delay in counting liquor cartons that were found in a rented hosiery warehouse, has given Congress, another chance to attack the ruling SAD-BJP government.

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Congress alleged that unaccounted liquor was present in the warehouse, to be used in the upcoming Zila Parishad elections.

Reports of thousands of liquor cartons found in a warehouse spread like wildfire late Friday evening.

A raid was conducted on a complaint regarding presence of liquor cartons in a warehouse on the Jalandhar bypass.

However, excise and taxation officials were in for a surprise to see a huge consignment of liquor cartons lying in the warehouse.

Senior officials including deputy excise and taxation commissioner Kanwalpreet Brar reached the spot and took stock of the situation.

The tax officials claimed that there was no electricity and counting of the cartons could not be done, hence the exact number remains a mystery.

Congress lambasted the excise and taxation wing and alleged that the liquor belonged to an influential person who has close links with the SAD. District president of Congress (urban) Pawan Dewan, said, “The tax officials are taking it easy as the liquor cache belongs to a person who has close ties wait SAD.”

Dewan added that SAD has a history of distributing alcohol during elections as a result such a huge stock of the alcohol was kept in the warehouse.

Interestingly, the excise and taxation officials did not give a clear estimate on the number of cartons kept at the warehouse. The move has not gone down well with the Congress and has raised many eyebrows.

Using the opportunity at hand, Congress has started attacks on the ruling alliance and want that strict action is taken against the person who had kept the liquor stock at the warehouse.

Late on Friday night, Kanwalpreet Brar said, “The warehouse has been sealed and documents are being checked as per rules.”

Brar also said that due to non-availability of electricity in the warehouse, the number of cartons could not be estimated.

However, on Saturday, Kaur said that it was a holiday and counting would be done on Monday.

Malkit Singh Dakha, district president Congress (rural) said that it was clear that the excise and taxation officials were delaying matters to save the guilty.

Dakha alleged, “They (tax officials) would take out a large number of cartons and bring out the license for the remaining few cartons. This is the reason why they were not telling the actual number of cartons found.”

He also added that the Congress was all set for the Zila Parishad elections but, such acts of SAD before the elections on May 19 spoil the environment.

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