ED questions Delhi minister Gahlot in excise probe | India News

NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate on Saturday questioned Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot in connection with its probe related to the alleged excise policy scam. Gahlot, along with former deputy CM Manish Sisodia and former health minister Satyendar Jain, was part of a group of ministers that carried out changes in the excise policy that allegedly facilitated the ‘scam’.
His questioning came two days before ED’s remand of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal gets over on April 1.
After questioning, Gahlot says he told ED whatever he remembered
Aam Aadmi Party’s Kailash Gahlot said on Saturday that Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had summoned him for questioning, had several queries about the scrapped excise policy of 2021-22. The interrogation lasted for around five hours.
“They wanted information about every aspect of the excise policy and whatever I remembered about it. I answered to the best of my knowledge,” Gahlot said.
When asked if there were questions about former AAP communications-in-charge Vijay Nair, an accused in the case, Gahlot said, “They asked me if I knew Vijay Nair since he was living in my official residence. I told them that though the house was allotted to me, I had not shifted there nor lived there. I have always lived in my own house in Vasant Kunj.” He claimed he had no idea whether Nair was living in the house allotted to him or not.
Sources said Gahlot was questioned with regard to the formulation of the excise policy because he was part of the Group of Ministers (GoM) with former deputy CM Manish Sisodia and former urban development minister Satyendar Jain.
When asked about allegations that kickbacks from the excise policy contract was spent in the Goa assembly elections, the minister said, “I have no idea about Goa and I wasn’t a part of campaigning. I had no knowledge about the person in charge there or what activities were taking place.”
He also claimed that there had been no corruption in the formulation of the excise policy and this would become clear as the case moved forward.
The minister, who entered the ED office in central Delhi around 11.30 am and left after 4.30pm, said he answered all the questions and will continue to cooperate in the probe. He said this was the second summons sent to him. He couldn’t depose the first time around a month back as the budget session of Delhi assembly was underway.
AAP on Saturday alleged a connection between one of the witnesses in the excise policy case and BJP, and challenged ED to conduct a probe into this. Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, whose son Raghava Magunta Reddy was arrested by ED in connection with the excise policy case, has been fielded by BJP’s ally Telugu Desam Party in the Lok Sabha polls, senior AAP leaders and ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged in a press conference.
“I challenge ED, if it is an independent agency, to bring on record this connection between the case witness and his nomination as BJP candidate and probe it,” Atishi said on Saturday while alleging that the saffron party had connections with the so-called ‘south lobby’ of liquor traders that is alleged to have received favours from Delhi govt in liquor sale in the city.
Delhi BJP did not respond to the allegations.

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