Manish Sisodia's questioning by CBI in excise policy case underway, BJP vs AAP protests on street
Delhi liquor case: The Central Bureau Agency (CBI) on Monday began questioning Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.
Sisodia, before arriving at the agency headquarters around 11 held a road show against the Delhi LG and BJP. He was taken straight to the first floor of the Anti Corruption Branch, official said.
After completing the necessary formalities, Sisodia was subjected to questioning about Delhi government's excise policy, his relations with other accused named in the FIR and documents recovered during searches in the case, the officials said.
Sisodia sought blessings of his mother at his Mathura road residence before leaving for the CBI headquarters in a procession accompanied by several leaders and volunteers in cars and bikes with patriotic songs being played in the background.
Making two stopovers on the way, Sisodia addressed AAP workers at the party headquarters where he asserted that he was not scared of being arrested and also visited Raj Ghat to seek blessings of the Father of the Nation.
"I will fully cooperate with the investigation and I am not scared of being arrested," he told AAP workers.
From the AAP office the deputy chief minister reached Mahatma Gandhi's memorial to pay homage to the Father of the Nation.
Sisodia attacks BJP, links probe with Gujarat polls
"I paid tribute to Bapu against whom also fake cases were registered. The BJP wants to send me to jail in a fake case. I am proud that I will be of some use to the country," Sisodia told PTI. He also claimed that his questioning and possible arrest were taking place as the BJP was scared of the AAP's "popularity" in Gujarat.
Sisodia dubbed as "fake" the case lodged against him by the CBI in the excise policy matter, and claimed that his questioning was taking place as the BJP was "scared" of the AAP's "popularity" in poll-bound Gujarat. He said the fake case was made to keep him out from his party’s Gujarat campaigns.
Will Sisodia be arrested?
Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal said Sisodia was going to be arrested in a bid to stop him from campaigning in Gujarat. He also calls Sisodia a modern ‘Bhagat Singh’.
BJP leaves no stone unturned to attack AAP
The BJP dubbed the Aam Aadmi Party as the "biggest corrupt party" after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia appeared for questioning before the CBI in the excise policy case. Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the AAP was formed with a pledge to fight corruption but it turned out to be the "biggest corrupt party".
"AAP is a biggest gimmick party. It was formed to fight corruption and its leaders turned out to be diehard corrupt," Patra charged. He also said Sisodia was raising slogans in the car while going to the CBI office as if the party "had won the world cup on corruption". Ahead of his questioning by the CBI in the excise policy 'scam', Sisodia claimed that the case against him was "fake" and linked the development with campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat.
Where’s the liquor policy case heading
The CBI is also questioning Raghava Reddy, the son of YSRCP Lok Sabha MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, in the case, they said. Delhi Police has made tight security arrangements and prohibitory orders have been in place around Sisodia's residence on Mathura Road, officials said.
The CBI had registered an FIR in a special court here in August against Sisodia and 14 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of records), and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which deals with taking undue advantage to influence a public servant by corrupt or illegal means, or by the exercise of personal influence.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena had recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the Delhi excise policy, which was brought out in November last year, the officials said.
Following the registration of the FIR, the CBI had conducted searches at the premises of Sisodia and opened his locker at a bank in Ghaziabad, they said.
The FIR has flagged payments in crores allegedly made to "close associates" of Sisodia by Sameer Mahendru -- the owner of Indospirits -- one of the liquor traders actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy. The FIR alleged that Sisodia's "close associates" Amit Arora, the director of Buddy Retail Pvt. Limited in Gurugram, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey were "actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees" for the accused public servants.
(With PTI input)
Also Read: 'To keep me out from Gujarat polls': Manish Sisodia ahead of CBI interrogation | Delhi liquor case so far
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