Hazare Slams Delhi Govt’s New Excise PolicyAug 31, 2022 | Pratirodh Bureau
Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, slamming his government’s new excise policy and said it seems the CM has “sunk in the addiction of power.” Hazare also said it seems the new policy will encourage liquor sale and consumption and spur corruption.
Last month, Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021-22.
Hazare, while citing the complete liquor ban in his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, reminded former associate Kejriwal about the latter’s book ‘Swaraj’ which favoured liquor ban. The activist, who had penned the book’s foreword, said he has written a letter to Kejriwal for the first time since he became CM and that it pains him to read reports about the Delhi government’s new excise policy.
“You wrote several idealistic things in the book. Everyone had hopes from you but it seems that after becoming the CM, you forgot that ideology and that is why the Delhi government came up with a new liquor policy,” he said. It seems with the new policy, liquor sales and consumption will get encouraged and liquor shops could be opened up everywhere,” he added.
“The policy will spur corruption and this thing is not at all in the interest of the people. But still, you took the decision to bring the new liquor policy. Like addiction of liquor, there is an addiction of power and it seems that you have sunk into it,” Hazare said in the letter. The policy shows that a party which was born after a historic agitation is now going on the path of other parties, which is painful, he said.
Reminding Kejriwal of the Team Anna meeting held on September 18, 2012, where Kejriwal put forth his intention of joining politics, Hazare said, “You forgot that forming the political party was not the intention of our movement. Seeing Delhi Excise Policy, it seems that the party which was formed by scrapping the historical movement has gone on the same path as other parties are treading, which is a very sorry matter,” he said.
“I am writing this letter because we first banned alcohol in Ralegan Siddhi village. We protested many times to bring good liquor policy in Maharashtra. The movement led to the law for prohibition of alcohol. If 51 per cent of the women in a village and city vote in favour of prohibition, then there will be a ban on alcohol,” the letter reads.
Hazare and Kejriwal were the key faces of the anti-graft movement launched by activists in 2011 to demand the appointment of a Lokpal. The activist said after becoming the CM, Kejriwal forgot about the Lokpal and Lokayukta law.
“You did not make any effort to bring in a strong Lokayukta Act, but instead the Delhi government has brought in a policy on liquor which destroys the lives of people and affects women. This shows there is a gap between what you preach and practice,” he said.
Last month, Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021-22.
The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report showing prima facie violations of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act-1991, Transaction of Business Rules-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009 and Delhi Excise Rules-2010. (PTI)