‘Liquor scam’ opens fissures in BJP-JJP coalition, Chautala says there isn’t any scam at all

Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala | Facebook

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Chandigarh: Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Singh Chautala said the “liquor scam”, which the opposition and some sections in the state government are debating upon, isn’t a scam at all.

Talking to ThePrint Friday, Chautala, who also holds the excise portfolio, said neither had the government caused a loss to the state exchequer nor were any favours granted to private individuals. 

“So, to call it a scam is blowing up the matter out of proportion,” said Chautala, who heads the JJP, an ally of the ruling coalition in the state.

The alleged scam came to light in early May when large quantities of seized liquor was stolen from two godowns in Sonepat when all liquor vends were closed in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown. While one godown was being used by the excise department to store seized liquor, the other was being used by the police department for the same purpose.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on 6 May ordered the formation of a Special Enquiry Team (SET), to be headed by senior IAS officer T.C. Gupta, to probe into the ‘scam’. And the findings of the SET have triggered cracks in the ruling BJP-JJP collision.

The SET, which submitted its report to Vij on 31 July, has indicted state excise and taxation commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi.

While Chautala told ThePrint that he “won’t allow action against Vidyarthi”, both Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Vij have said action should be taken against the guilty based on the SET’s findings.

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