Atishi says BJP runs ‘liquor mafia’, Opposition hits back 


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The AAP on Friday alleged that the BJP is opposing Delhi’s new excise policy as it earns crores of rupees from liquor mafia, inviting a sharp reaction from the opposition party, which hit back saying ruling party was running a “misleading propaganda” that the new norms would finish illegal alcohol trade.

On March 23, the Delhi government had approved a new excise policy, which had lowered the legal drinking age to 21 from 25 years. It had also withdrawn the government from running liquor vends in Delhi. The move is expected to lead to an annual revenue growth of 20 per cent, it said. 

Addressing a press conference, AAP spokesperson Atishi claimed the new excise policy will prevent BJP leaders from collecting “hafta” (extortion money) from restaurants and clubs which is why they are opposing it. “In restaurants and clubs, often 21 to 25 years old people go to buy or consume liquor. The BJP harasses restaurant-owners and extorts money,” said Atishi.

She said if the Kejriwal government makes the legal drinking age 21, then the extortion rackets will be finished and the BJP leaders will face “humongous losses”.Delhi BJP general secretary Harsh Malhotra and spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said Atishi and other AAP leaders are running a “misleading propaganda” that their new excise policy will end the liquor mafia and illegal collections from the sale of spurious liquor.

“The AAP should tell why its minister said there are 849 liquor shops in Delhi while Delhi has only 639 shops. They should tell why they want to add 210 new liquor shops without informing people,” they said in a statement.

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