BJP demands CM Baghel’s resignation over ‘liquor scam’

New Delhi, May 12 (PTI) The BJP on Friday demanded Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s resignation over an alleged Rs 2,000-crore liquor scam in the state, claiming corruption at such a big scale for more than four years was not possible without links to his government.
BJP spokesperson K K Sharma also took a swipe at Baghel for his claim that the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the central agency probing the case, was trying to implicate him in the matter, asking if this was a “confession” from him about his role or merely an expression of his suspicion.
Noting that Anwar Dhebar, who has been arrested in the case and is the elder brother of Raipur Mayor and Congress leader Aijaz Dhebar, is a private person and holds no position in the government, Sharma said he used to hold meetings with liquor dealers and government officials.
The liquor industry in the state is run by the government, from procurement to retail, but it was Anwar Dhebar who “captured” the public body tasked with running the business and recommended names of officials for appointment there, Sharma claimed, asserting that it could not be possible without “state protection” to him.
It was ensured that liquor produced illegally was sold from government shops and it accounted for 30-40 per cent of the total business, the BJP leader said, adding that this scam alone ran into Rs 1,200-1,500 crore.
Citing ED statements, he said commissions were pocketed from liquor dealers and the total scam money was worth Rs 2,000 crore.
Sharma said Baghel should explain his relationship with Anwar Dhebar and take responsibility for the scandal. “He should immediately resign from his post,” he demanded.
Chhattisgarh has become an ATM for the Congress, Sharma said, adding that party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul should also speak on this “loot” from the state that has a large tribal population.

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