Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Defies ED Summon for Excise Policy Case, Opts for Roadshow Instead
New Delhi, November 2: In a move that has intensified the ongoing political drama, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to skip the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons issued to him in connection with the controversial Excise Policy Case.
Defying the central agency’s order, Kejriwal has chosen to participate in a roadshow in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, as per reports from ANI. This decision comes at a time when the state of Madhya Pradesh is gearing up for imminent polls.
The ED Summon and Kejriwal’s Response
The summon, which was scheduled for November 2, demanded Kejriwal’s presence for questioning regarding the excise policy case. However, the Delhi CM, in his response, labeled the notice as “illegal and politically motivated.” Kejriwal further alleged that the notice was a result of the BJP’s political vendetta, aiming to disrupt his election campaigning in four crucial states.
He emphasized that the ED’s move was orchestrated to prevent him from participating in the election campaigns in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh. Kejriwal has sternly demanded the immediate withdrawal of the notice.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today. He will hold a road show, along with Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh today.
(File photo) pic.twitter.com/weeUzG0YNL
— ANI (@ANI) November 2, 2023
The Crux of the Excise Policy Case
The excise policy case, which has become a focal point of political contention, revolves around the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate are currently probing the policy, which was eventually scrapped. The policy has been mired in controversy, with the opposition BJP in Delhi accusing it of favoring certain liquor dealers. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, has vehemently denied these allegations.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal responds to ED, “…Being the National Convener and a star campaigner of the AAP, I am required to travel for campaigning and to provide political guidance to my field workers of AAP. As the CM of Delhi, I have governance and official commitments for… pic.twitter.com/piPS5D5kMB
— ANI (@ANI) November 2, 2023
The Turn of Events Leading to the Probe
The case took a significant turn when, based on a report by the chief secretary of the Delhi government, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe in July 2022. The report highlighted various alleged irregularities, including a waiver of Rs 144 crore to retail licensees under the policy, citing COVID-19-impacted sales. It also mentioned a refund of Rs 30 crore to a successful bidder for the airport zone, who failed to obtain a no-objection certificate for opening liquor stores.
Furthermore, the report pointed out an alleged instance of “quid pro quo,” where the commission of wholesale licensees was raised from five percent to 12 percent.
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The Political Aftermath and Broader Implications
Kejriwal’s decision to defy the ED to summon and opt for the roadshow in Madhya Pradesh reflects the heightened political tensions and the strategic maneuvers employed by political figures. This move is likely to reverberate through the political corridors, affecting not just the immediate electoral campaigns but also shaping the broader narrative around political accountability and agency intervention.
As the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh brace for voting, with the counting slated for December 3, the excise policy case and the ensuing events are poised to influence voter sentiment and political discourse.
In conclusion, while Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal stands his ground against the ED’s summon, the unfolding events in the Excise Policy Case continue to captivate the nation’s attention. The political saga, laden with allegations, defiance, and strategic campaigning, underscores the complex interplay of governance, law enforcement, and electoral politics in India.