Politics

Swaraj India Names New Delhi Unit Chief, Attacks AAP’s Liquor Policy

Yogendra Yadav

Swaraj India founder Yogendra Yadav. Credit: IANS

New Delhi: Swaraj India, the party formed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav after they were expelled by convener Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters, has restructured its organisation in Delhi and named its chief spokesperson Anupam as the Delhi unit head.

At a conference organised today to announce the change in the party structure, national president Yogendra Yadav also attacked the AAP government in Delhi for promoting consumption of liquor through its policy. In keeping with the agenda on which AAP was formed following the India Against Corruption campaign, he also demanded that the party ruling over Delhi make public its excise policy for the current financial year and seek public opinion on it.

Yadav also demanded that liquor vends that have been opened without obtaining the consent of the locals be immediately closed down. “Swaraj India would work vigorously to expose the government’s scandals in granting licenses to liquor vends,” he said.

Swaraj India had earlier in the run up to the municipal election in Delhi – in which it had albeit not succeeded in winning any seats – also raised its voice against Delhi government’s policy to grant licenses to liquor vends without consulting the local public. “While AAP had promised to curb liquor consumption in Delhi, the number of vends had actually gone up from around 1200 to 1600 in the last two years. After we raised the issue, the AAP government has gone silent on the issue and stopped replying to even RTI queries on the subject,” he claimed.

Yadav said while it was Swaraj India’s public campaign against proliferation of such liquor vends that had forced Kejriwal to announce that the Delhi government will not grant any further liquor license for the financial year, he said the party would also try and foil attempts to issue more liquor licences to restaurants in the city.

On the changes in the organisation structure, Yadav said Anupam, who is a founder member, and others, have been nominated to the posts as the party has still not undertaken a formal membership drive and so had no members to undertake the election with. “In the coming year, we would undertake a membership drive and after a year conduct elections for all these posts,” he assured.

While Anupam has been made Delhi state president, Veena Anand, former MLA from Patel Nagar and P.K. Ahlawat, retired colonel, have been appointed as vice-presidents, while Deepak Bhan, a former banker, has been appointed as the new treasurer and Navnit Tiwari the general secretary. This apart, the responsibility of the supervision of the party volunteers, offices and programmes have been given to Surinder Singh Kohli, Nishant Tyagi and Raman Yadav.