Who Is Vijay Nair, AAP Member Arrested By CBI?
AAP said that Vijay Nair, AAP in charge of communication strategy, was arrested because of the party's rising popularity in Gujarat.
Vijay Nair, the communication in-charge of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and former CEO of events company Only Much Louder (OML), was arrested by the CBI on Tuesday, in connection with the alleged irregularities in Delhi's excise policy.
The FIR by the CBI claimed that Nair, along with others, was "actively involved" with the Delhi liquor policy which has now been withdrawn.
The CBI has been investigating alleged irregularities in the liquor policy that had been implemented by the AAP government. Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia faced raids in August by the CBI over the liquor policy.
Here's what you need to know:
Who is Vijay Nair?
Before his association with AAP, Nair had found OML in 2001 along with Gunjan Arya and Ajay Nair. In 2018, Nair was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women who worked with him.
OML, helmed by Nair, not only managed several Indian alt-rock bands like Pentagram, but also started managing comedy groups and comedians such as Vir Das and All India Bakchod by 2013. The NH7 Weekender was also first organised by OML in 2010.
Nair became associated with AAP in 2014. The Times of India had reported in January 2014 that Nair had planned to gather musicians across the country to campaign for the party ahead of the elections.
Nair worked with the AAP, ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly Elections, in 2019. The Caravan had reported that he was working as a part-time volunteer and did "ad-hoc" work for the party's social media. He also organised events for the party. The article had questioned Nair's foray into the party despite sexual harassment allegations against him.
Nair was a college dropout who was widely hailed for his success with OML. An article by Economic Times in 2014 had revealed that he was worth $10 million at the time.
Nair is now spearheading AAP's communication strategies.
What is Nair accused of?
Nair is one of the accused named in the CBI FIR in connection to the excise policy case where 14 others, including Manish Sisodia, have been named. The FIR said that Nair was "actively involved" in the alleged irregularities.
The Indian Express quoted the FIR as saying, "Reliable sources have revealed that Vijay Nair, former CEO of Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company; Manoj Rai, ex-employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, owner of Brindco Spirits; and Sameer Mahendru, owner of Indospirit, are actively involved in irregularities in framing and implementation of excise policy."
The FIR said that three associates of Sisodia, Amit Arora, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey were involved in diverting funds collected through liquor licensees to "accused public servants".
The Times of India quoted the FIR as saying, "A person named Arjun Pandey has once collected huge cash amount of about Rs 2-4 crore from Sameer Mahendru on behalf of Vijay Nair."
What has AAP said after Nair's arrest?
The AAP said on Wednesday in a press conference that such action was being taken against its members because of its rising popularity in Gujarat. AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj told the media, "They are pressurising Vijay Nair, to say something against deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, because CBI is helpless without proof against him."
Bharadwaj alleged that Nair may be tortured and harassed.
Earlier in the day, AAP leader Aatishi had said that Nair had nothing to do with Delhi's excise policy. "Vijay Nair is an AAP worker who is the Communication Incharge. What connection does he have to the excise policy?"
Aatishi also said that he was arrested because of the communication strategy in Gujarat, after Delhi and Punjab, because of which Kejriwal's "graph is rising rapidly".
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