Direct role of Kejriwal in Delhi liquor scam is undisputable  


The magnitude of this Delhi excise scam and the brazen manner in which it was executed is mind boggling. How could the CM, Dy. CM, ministers of Delhi government connive openly and act in cohort with the “south lobby” liquor cartels to create a policy with the sole objective of  defrauding the state exchequer of thousands of crores is shockingly venal, writes former IAS officer V.S.Pandey


The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested Kejriwal in the  infamous “Delhi Liquor Gate” scam  after a  brief interrogation  in Tihar Jail. Kejriwal was earlier interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the basis of a complaint filed by the Congress Party members alleging serious corruption in the liquor policy case. The bare facts available in the domain regarding the liquor policy scam directly point to the complicity of Mr. Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi. On March 21, 2024, the ED had arrested Kejriwal in a money laundering case of the same liquor policy corruption issue. It was  challenged by Kejriwal at various judicial forums with no success – except that he could get nearly three weeks reprieve to campaign for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections- in which his party was routed completely in Delhi and could win only three seats in Punjab -where they are currently in power.

After Kejriwal was arrested by the CBI, efforts are on  to publicise the same  old narrative of political vendetta and witch-hunt by the BJP. The lawyer representing Kejriwal, in his statement, said  that  the Modi government fears the release of Arvind Kejriwal by the Supreme Court so they  asked the CBI to arrest him in the same matter almost a year after he joined the investigation and added that it shows nothing has changed the vindictive mindset of the BJP. The earlier proclaimed  narrative that the PM is scared of Kejriwal only, has been rebuffed  now after the massive electoral mauling received by Kejriwal’s party in the elections. They are left with hardly any argument to cover up their sins. In the current milieu of propaganda wars, the public gets totally confused and is swayed into believing the false narratives set by politicians.

The moot question that needs to be addressed is Why Kejriwal, CM of Delhi has been  arrested by CBI? What were the real issues in the liquor scam in Delhi? Although some media outlets did report about some facets of the Delhi liquor scam but mostly, they also succumbed to the false narrative set by Kejriwal and his cronies. In open collusion with the “friendly” media ,  they were propagating in unison that it is a fake scam and not a “chavanni” (25 paise) could be recovered by the investigators in the series of raids conducted by them, for months. This false narrative was never challenged by  the media. The   reasons are  very obvious-  the huge handouts running into thousands of crores of rupees being paid to various media outlets regularly by the Kejriwal led Delhi governments through its annual media budget for years now  . It  was “quid pro quo“  – You scratch my back , I scratch yours .

The magnitude of this scam and the brazen manner in which it was executed is mind boggling. How could the CM , Dy. CM , ministers of Delhi government  connive openly and act in cohort with the “south lobby” liquor cartels to  create a policy with the sole objective of  defrauding the state exchequer of thousands of crores is shockingly venal. The Supreme Court ,while examining the facts of the case in a related bail petition, had pronounced  that the liquor policy structure certainly led to heavy losses to  the Delhi government exchequer whilst excessive profits flowed  into the liquor cartels deep pockets. Despite these facts being in public domain , the culprits are busy calling foul and lying blatantly to save themselves from impending convictions.

A simple question  is the crux,“ Mr. Kejriwal, please tell us whether you took bribe or not ? When you presided over the cabinet meet to approve the excise policy , didn’t you read the lines in the cabinet note where your minister with your prior approval ,had proposed raising of the whole sale liquor commission from the existing four percent to twelve percent? Why did you destroy your mobile sets in dozens? Why  are you spreading lies that not a penny was recovered when your cronies have already been confronted with a money trail running into crores  and with plentiful credible evidence already submitted in courts? Why  did you lie that it is a fake case when the Supreme Court  had come to the contrary conclusion while rejecting the bail applications of the so-called “ most honest” ex ministers of your cabinet and other acquaintances ?  Had you  met the Khalistani terrorist ,whose video is in circulation , telling  all that he had paid huge sums of money to you in exchange of certain favors?  Why  have you  kept on evading ED summons and evaded questions posed by ED for months- when you had nothing to hide and you had not collected money from the liquor lobby ? From where did you get so much money to spend on political publicity and campaigns in so many state elections in such a short span of time? How can you call your self and your  party ministers as ‘most honest’ when you all are ,prima facie,  involved in so many corruption cases and many of you are still languishing in jail even after repeated attempts to get bail -illegally paying more than twenty crores to your lawyers from public funds?

The shocking state of affairs in the now infamous “Delhi liquor scam” is just a template of where we have reached as a country ,where corruption has become the way of life for our political class and also of those who enjoy power and privileges. None is there to ask questions and make them accountable. The media was assigned the role  of not only  educating  the  people in public affairs but also to  interrogate those in power and hold them accountable. Unfortunately, this is not the case today. There is no truth or impartiality in their reporting any more , all the stories appearing in the media are colored by their prejudices and tilts. What remains is the propaganda model of reporting, devoid of any truth , serving the narrow interest of those who fund their coffers. This state of affairs does not augur well for our democracy which is under serious stress due to the octopus like grip of black money on our elections coupled with the divisive caste and religious policies  pursued by almost all politicians. The  people need to wake-up to these harsh realities and take corrective actions .The Emperors have to be told they are wearing no clothes.  Media coverage cannot mask their  venal deceit.

 (Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary Government of India)



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