BJP's opposition to Delhi govt's new excise policy continues

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Delhi BJP continues to oppose the AAP government's new excise policy alleging that it encourages sale and thereby, consumption of liquor in the national capital.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and mayors of all three municipal corporations have said that liquor shops will not be allowed to open in the capital by violating the rules of the master plan.

"All the shops that are open will be closed, FIRs will be registered against them, and no new outlet will be allowed in non-conforming areas.

"There are 80 municipal wards in Delhi where permission has not been given for liquor shops in non-conforming areas. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia himself has admitted this. Despite this, licenses for liquor shops were issued for these areas by breaking the rules. If a person deliberately breaks the law, why should an FIR not be registered against him? If FIR can be lodged against Majithia in Punjab, then why not against Manish Sisodia in Delhi?," he asked.

On January 3, the BJP Delhi protested against the Arvind Kejriwal-led government's new excise policy by obstructing traffic at 15 spots across the national capital.

"Every single individual of Delhi, including women, are concerned about liquor shops coming up close to their houses," Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said on Sunday while announcing the protest.

"Kejriwal wants to make Punjab liquor-free but is adamant to make Delhi a city of liquor. We will oppose this move." Since the introduction of the new excise policy, the BJP has been protesting against the Kejriwal-led government.

Under this policy, nearly 850 liquor shops are supposed to open up across city as the state government exited the liquor business.

The opposition party has also objected to the opening of new liquor shops in close vicinity to residential areas, religious sites and educational institutes.

While announcing the policy, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that it would revolutionise Delhiites' liquor buying experience by giving the liquor vends a new shape.

He had also claimed that the policy would further put a complete ban on the modus-operandi of liquor mafias operating in the union territory.

Reacting to Monday's protests, Sisodia tweeted: "BJP is furious over the implementation of the new excise policy because Kejriwal government has put a stoppage to the theft to Rs 35,000 crore in Delhi.

"This money is now being received by the government which will use it for the benefit of masses, earlier this money used to go to the pockets of BJP leaders and liquor mafia," he had alleged.

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