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AAP used Delhi liquor scam money to fund Goa campaign: Enforcement Directorate

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) allegedly used money generated from a purported liquor scam to fund its election campaign in Goa in 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged in a chargesheet filed in the case on Thursday.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) allegedly used money generated from a purported liquor scam to fund its election campaign in Goa in 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged in a chargesheet filed in the case on Thursday.

In the chargesheet, the ED has claimed that investigation trail in the Delhi liquor scam case has revealed AAP used part of the funds generated in the scam for its poll campaign in Goa.

AAP managed to win two seats in the Goa Assembly elections.

The ED chargesheet claimed that Rs 70 lakh in cash payments were made to volunteers of AAP’s survey teams, adding that party’s communications chief Vijay Nair allegedly told “certain persons” who were involved in AAP’s campaign related work, to receive payments in cash.

The probe agency’s chargesheet has further alleged that, on AAP’s behalf, Nair received over Rs 100 crore in payments from a group comprising of YSRCP MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, his son Raghav Magunta, Aurobindo Pharma director P Sarath Chandra Reddy and Telangana CM KCR’s daughter Kavitha Kalvakuntla.

The ED further alleged that Abhishek Boinpally, a Hyderabad-based businessman, in conspiracy with Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s aide Dinesh Arora had facilitated the transfer of the kickback money.

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The central agency also filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case against AAP’s Vijay Nair, businessmen Sarath Reddy, Binoy Babu, Abhishek Boinpally and Amit Arora. The chargesheet, which was produced before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court today, did not include Manish Sisodia’s name.

Further investigation in the case is ongoing, the ED told the court.

In a statement, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said the allegations levelled by the ED as “completely fictional”.

The liquor scheme came to the fore after Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021-22 and recommended a CBI probe into the matter.

The alleged scam also came under the ED’s radar who are probing a money trail it generated.

In July 2022, AAP government junked the Delhi Excise Policy, which was implemented in November 2021.

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Delhi news

AAP government forms Special Task Force to combat pollution in Delhi

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said that for the next 2-3 days, the Air Quality Index is going to remain in the ‘very poor’ category.

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As the national capital’s air quality continues to remain very poor, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Thursday announced the formation of a Special Task Force to combat pollution. He said that the current situation is such that for 2-3 days the Air Quality Index is going to remain in the ‘very poor’ category.

He explained the aforesaid circumstances is only because as per the prediction for tomorrow, the wind speed will remain low. He added that till wind speed increases, the Air Quality Index will stay in the ‘very poor’ category.

The environment minister added that considering the phenomenon, a decision has been taken on Thursday that they need to monitor the implementation of GRAP-4 on the ground and for that 6-member Special Task Force has been formed. He further mentioned that the Special Secretary Environment will be in-charge of this. The announcement follows after Gopal Rai held a review meeting with the environment department and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) officials at the Delhi Secretariat.

Earlier on Thursday, Delhi LG VK Saxena came down heavily on the government and said blaming other states for Delhi pollution is not a solution and the real solution lies in Delhi itself. He said that Delhi needs action, not mere posturing. He mentioned that  they can do a little to stop crop residue smoke from other states, apart from pleading with them. He noted that the Air Quality Index still hovers around 400, making the Capital gasp.

Reports said that Delhi’s Air Quality Index stood at 393 at 9 am on Thursday. In addition, its 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4 pm every day, stood at 401 on Wednesday. It was 397 on Tuesday.

As per AQI scale, readings between 0 and 50 are considered ”good”, 51 and 100 are “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 are “moderate”, 201 and 300 are “poor”, 301 and 400 are “very poor”, and 401 and 450 are “severe” and above 450 are “severe plus”.

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Delhi news

Delhi air pollution: Environment minister Gopal Rai to hold meeting with all ministers today

On Thursday morning, Delhi’s air quality was recorded as severe. However, because of the possibility of somewhat improving weather, a minor improvement is anticipated shortly before Diwali.

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Environment Minister Gopal Rai has convened a meeting with all ministers to examine the issue of air pollution on Thursday, as Delhi continues to experience a number of air quality issues. According to officials, the meeting would start at 12:30 pm at the Delhi Secretariat.

The environment minister’s office announced that the meeting will be attended by the ministers of finance and revenue, health, transport, social welfare, and food and supplies, as well as Imran Hussain and Saurabh Bhardwaj.

On Thursday morning, Delhi’s air quality was recorded as severe. However, because of the possibility of somewhat improving weather, a minor improvement is anticipated shortly before Diwali.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) for Delhi was 426 at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and it was 420 at 8 a.m. on Thursday. The Indo-Gangetic plains were covered in clusters of red dots on the Central Pollution Control Board’s AQI map, which denotes hazardous air quality.

Extremely poor air quality was also observed in nearby Ghaziabad (369), Gurugram (396), Noida (394), Greater Noida (450), and Faridabad (413).

A new western disturbance sweeping northwest India will cause a shift in wind direction from northwest to southeast, which will assist lower the amount of smoke from stubble burning, but slow wind speed will offset this, according to officials at the India Meteorological Department.

The official said the wind speed will increase from between 5 to 6 kmph to approximately 15 kmph on November 11 when the western disturbance passes. This will aid in the dispersal of pollutants prior to Diwali.

The Delhi government postponed the December winter vacation for all schools on Wednesday due to the increasing levels of air pollution. The new dates for the holiday are November 9–November 18.

Gopal Rai said the Supreme Court’s rulings have prohibited the introduction of app-based taxis into Delhi.

Additionally, he stated that the odd-even car restriction plan will be put into force in the nation’s capital following an order and review by the Supreme Court. Friday is when the case will be heard again.

The Delhi government’s automobile rationing system, which aims to reduce traffic pollution, was questioned by the supreme court on Tuesday, calling it all optics and questioning its effectiveness.

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Delhi news

Delhi Pollution: BS3 petrol, BS4 diesel cars banned in capital, will be fined Rs 20,000

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai has written a letter to Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, urging him to prohibit the entry of vehicles not compliant with BS-VI standards from neighbouring states in Delhi-NCR. 

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Delhi Pollution: BS3 petrol, BS4 diesel cars banned in capital, will be fined Rs 20,000

The AAP led Delhi government has issued orders banning vehicles with BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel. An immediate fine of ₹20,000 would be implemented in case of violation, according to a government statement. The measure is aimed at curbing the deteriorating air quality in the national capital and thereby safeguarding public health from the detrimental effects of pollution.

Reacting to the rising pollution concerns, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has implemented GRAP III rules in the Delhi-NCR region. The regulations encompass a comprehensive prohibition on most construction and demolition activities within Delhi NCR, except for emergency services, government construction projects, and those of strategic significance. 

Furthermore, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai has written a letter to Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, urging him to prohibit the entry of vehicles not compliant with BS-VI standards from neighbouring states in Delhi-NCR. 

The Delhi Environment Minister said that he is writing a letter to the central government urging that the union environment minister should call an emergency meeting of the environment ministers of all five states immediately as the orders of CAQM are not being implemented in other states. 

He added that rules are being made and CAQM is giving directions, but in the whole NCR, rules are being violated. He underlined that pollution is the problem of the whole of North India. Earlier on Friday, AAP minister Gopal Rai said that it is wrong to think that Delhi government alone can control pollution completely. He questioned whether the Union Minister, Bhupender Yadav and the Bharatiya Janata Party holds no responsibility. 

On Saturday, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India stated that the overall air quality in Delhi has continued to be in the severe category for the third consecutive day at 504 in the morning.

Notably, Delhi has already prohibited the use of petrol-powered vehicles that have been in operation for over 15 years and diesel-powered vehicles that have been in use for more than a decade.

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