According to sources, on Monday, Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena expressed his discontent to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over AAP’s “mischievous and misleading” tweets that dragged his name into the row over alleged irregularities in the Delhi government’s Excise Policy 2021-22. The tweets were later removed.
As per the sources, the tweets tried to deliberately mislead people and misrepresent facts by using the word LG instead of ‘ex LG’ with the picture of present Lt Governor V K Saxena.
On Saturday, the LG suspended 11 officers of the Delhi excise department for “serious lapses” in handling the implementation of Delhi’s excise policy in 2021-22. IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna, who was the city’s excise commissioner at the time, and incumbent deputy commissioner Anand Tiwari were among these 11 officers.
According to an assessment report prepared by the Chief Secretary, the Delhi excise policy had several violations and “deliberate and gross procedural lapses”. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio, was also alleged of giving undue financial favours to liquor licensees.
According to the report, while migrant workers were forced to return to their hometowns due to a dearth of basic facilities, and when businesses were adversely affected because of the pandemic, the Excise Department decided to “allow a waiver of ₹144.36 crore singularly to the liquor cartel, on the tendered license fee under the excuse of COVID-19 pandemic” as per the explicit instructions of Manish Sisodia.
In response to the false allegations made against the Delhi government, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The entire case being made out against the Delhi government is completely false; there isn’t an iota of truth in the Excise Policy allegations. By fabricating cases they are deliberately throwing mud on us because we are staunchly honest and they can’t digest that fact.”
(With inputs from the PTI)
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