AAP civic poll aspirant got liquor contract, says BJP; party hits back

Updated on Sep 21, 2022 06:31 AM IST

Continuing the attack on the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on the alleged irregularities in the excise policy, Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia on Tuesday alleged a person close to the Capital’s ruling party was awarded a contract to set up liquor stores in the city

The AAP and the BJP have traded blame over the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi excise policy. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
The AAP and the BJP have traded blame over the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi excise policy. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Continuing the attack on the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on the alleged irregularities in the excise policy, Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia on Tuesday alleged a person close to the Capital’s ruling party was awarded a contract to set up liquor stores in the city.

Bhatia displayed several pictures of person named Karamjeet Singh Lamba with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj. This person is a partner in Universal Distributors that was awarded liquor contract for two zones, Bhatia said, while allegedly also contested 2017 municipal elections from Chittaranjan Park ward on an AAP ticket.

The AAP on the other hand stated that instead of making baseless allegations, the BJP, which has all the agencies at its disposal, should prove the allegations. The party has argued that the corruption allegations show that the BJP is frustrated as it has “sensed defeat in Gujarat,” which soon goes to the polls and where the AAP is campaigning vigorously.

Bhatia maintained there were irregularities in awarding the contract. “They (AAP) used to say the excise policy is good for Delhi and the goal behind this policy was to increase the revenue of city, but Lamba was provided this contract without any transparent procedure by ignoring all the rules,” Bhatia alleged, adding that the only motive behind the Delhi excise policy was “corruption”.

“None of our questions on lapses in the excise policy have been answered by the Delhi CM, but we will keep raising the questions,” Bhatia said. He stated that the irregularities were examples of “corruption freebies” (revdis) being distributed to people close to the AAP.

On August 22, Bhatia had alleged that the government gave a waiver of Rs144 crore on license fee, causing a loss to the exchequer. “46% of this amount went to Universal distributors. We want to ask the government whether this 66 crore was returned as a payback,” Bhatia said.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said that the AAP functionaries used to claim that they will not avail any amenities like bungalows and cars, but look at their lifestyle now. “Delhi CM roams in expensive cars and travels by chartered planes. The money for all these expenses has come from corruption from the excise policy,” he said.

Reacting to BJPs allegations, AAP functionary and Timarpur MLA Dilip Pandey held a press conference on Tuesday, challenging the BJP to arrest the AAP leaders if it can prove the allegations of corruption in the excise policy.

Pandey said that the BJP has all the investigative agencies at its disposal and, instead of making baseless allegations, it should arrest people if there is truth to these allegations. The BJP is frustrated as it has sensed defeat in upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, he said.

“I challenge the BJP to prove the authenticity of their allegations. All the agencies like CBI-ED are under their control and yet they are unable to imprison us. this clearly exposes their lies,” Pandey said. “All their might is proving insufficient to stop AAP’s juggernaut. All the people of Delhi and the country are convinced that all allegations hurled by BJP are blatant lies.”

“They (BJP) are bringing printouts of random photos to implicate us,” Pandey said. “Do you think by presenting irrelevant pictures and numbers, you can establish the case? Neither they are able to prove that we have done anything wrong nor they are able to arrest us.”

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