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Manish Sisodia on Excise Policy raid

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The 2024 general elections will be a BJP vs AAP contest, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia predicted on Saturday, adding that the CBI raided his house on Friday because the Centre “has problems with Arvind Kejriwal”. Sisodia’s remarks were in consonance with the AAP line that Narendra Modi sees the AAP chief as his main rival.

Sisodia claimed the Delhi Excise Policy — over which the CBI raided his house — was the best liquor policy in the country and had L-G VK Saxena not conspired to “fail” it, the Delhi government would have earned Rs 10,000 crore every year.

“Maybe within the next 3-4 days, CBI-ED will arrest me… we won’t be scared, you won’t be able to break us… the elections of 2024 will be AAP vs BJP,” Sisodia told the media.

“Excise policy due to which whole controversy is created is the country’s best policy. We were applying it with transparency and sincerity. Had Delhi LG not changed his decision conspiring to fail the policy, the Delhi government would have been getting at least Rs 10,000 crore every year,” he added.

CBI raided 22 locations on Friday, including the houses of Sisodia and an IAS officer after registering an FIR.

Saxena had recommended the CBI probe after the national capital’s chief secretary submitted a report alleging financial irregularities in the policy that was later scrapped.

Under the policy, the government had pulled out of selling liquor and handed the licenses to the private sector. It was implemented in November 2021 in order to boost revenue, improve customer experience and eliminate the liquor mafia.

Saxena has accused the government of bringing the policy to benefit private liquor barons.

AAP considers itself to be the only political party to take on the BJP juggernaut. They have been trying to expand their footprints all across the country since their mammoth victory in the 2020 Delhi Assembly polls. The fact that they are the only regional party to have governments in a UT and a state (Delhi and Punjab) has given a fillip to their national ambitions. Recently, Arvind Kejriwal said the party is on its way to becoming a national party. 

With inputs from ANI

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