Was Offered CM’s Post To Quit AAP: Sisodia Says After 8 Hrs At CBI HQ

Delhi Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was questioned for eight hours by the CBI in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy case on Monday, alleged that he was offered the post of CM to quit the AAP.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 17 October, 2022 10:09 pm IST

Delhi Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was questioned for eight hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy case on Monday, alleged that he was offered the post of Chief Minister to quit the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

After the questioning, Sisodia told the media that he was called for questioning to make “operation lotus” successful. “The CBI has registered a case to make Operation Lotus a success. The pressure was put on me to leave AAP,” Sisodia said.

“The CBI personnel gave me an offer to leave the party or face the consequences. They also told me there was no case against Satyendra Jain, despite that he is in jail,” the Delhi Dy CM said.

The AAP leader also claimed that he was being offered the post of Chief minister. “They also told me that if I left AAP, I would be given the chief ministership of Delhi. But I told them that I have no intention of becoming CM,” Sisodia said.

“I have come to work for education. I am happy that the children of rickshaw drivers become engineers,” Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, said. “Whatever they want to do, they can do it. The whole case is fake. There is no scam of one crore rupees or one rupee,” he added.

Sources told The New Indian that Sisodia’s questioning was related to Vijay Nair, who was earlier arrested by the CBI in connection with the case. It is also learnt that he has not been called for questioning tomorrow as of now.

Nair, the former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company ‘Only Much Louder,’ is in charge of communication for the AAP. In addition to Nair, the CBI also arrested Hyderabad-based Abhishek Bonipally in this case.

The CBI, on its remand, had told the court that Nair was involved in making the excise policy. The central probe agency said that Nair also held meetings with the other co-accused and liquor manufacturers and distributors in hotels in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. The agency also said Nair was also involved in arranging ill-gotten money through hawala operators.

Sisodia came to CBI headquarters at 11.30 am. Before reaching the agency headquarters, Sisodia addressed his supporters at the AAP office and then went to Rajghat to offer prayers at Gandhi Samadhi.

During questioning, Sisodia was asked if he knew Nair. The Delhi Dy CM was also asked about how Nair was involved in the formulation of the policy if he was not part of the Delhi government.

Sisodia was also asked about the revenue that the government should be able to get after the implementation of the new liquor policy. He was also asked about the bureaucrats who benefited from this policy.

According to the CBI’s FIR, only a few selected liquor manufacturers and vendors were granted licenses. The agency also questioned Sisodia related to those as well.

The central probe agency registered a case on August 17 this year over the alleged irregularities in the excise policy case. Sisodia, who is AAP’s second-in-command has been named as accused number one in this case.

The CBI had filed the FIR based on a complaint received from Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, who flagged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy.

Besides Sisodia, the CBI named Nair and three public servants – then excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna; then deputy excise commissioner Anand Tiwari and assistant commissioner (excise) Pankaj Bhatnagar.

Some private persons, including Sameer Mahendru, MD of Indospirits; Manoj Rai, a former employee of Lucknow-based Pernod Ricard; Amit Arora, director of Gurgaon-based Buddy Retail Private Limited; Dinesh Arora, Delhi-based Mahadev Liquors; Sunny Marwah, authorised signatory of Mahadev Liquors; Arun Ramchandra Pillai of Karnataka’s Bangalore and Arjun Pandey of Gurgaon, have also been named in the CBI FIR.

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