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In the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the Delhi government has decided to reinstate retail booze sales for a period of six months. The Excise Policy 2021-22, which was extended twice after March 31 for two months each, will expire on July 31. Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has not yet received the draft policy for approval.

Also Read: Uttar Pradesh had the highest share in Centre’s FY22 excise revenue

Following this action, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted angrily to the Centre, accusing it of creating "false allegations" and asserting that AAP leaders were "not afraid of jail".

When Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI investigation into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021–22, holding Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in charge of the excise department, accountable, relations between the federal government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi became even more strained last week.

Also Read: Delhi's new excise policy and why LG is seeking CBI probe

The Lt. Governor's action is in response to a report on the subject that was provided by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar. The report, which according to officials was submitted on July 8, accuses Sisodia of giving liquor vend licence holders unauthorised perks in exchange for "kickbacks" and "commissions" and the money utilised in the most recent elections in Punjab.

The Delhi Congress organised a demonstration on July 25 in front of the residence of the deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, calling for his resignation due to alleged rules violations and procedural errors in the city's excise policy. In Patparganj, representatives of the Congress party assembled and chanted anti-Sisodia and anti-Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chants while waving banners.

Anil Kumar, the head of the Delhi Congress, claimed that Sisodia, the minister in charge of the excise department of the Delhi government, was personally responsible for "corrupt deals" with liquor suppliers.

(With agency inputs)

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