Arvind Kejriwal government minister is under CBI investigation in an excise scam. Meanwhile, the CBI has started another investigation against the AAP government of Delhi on the charge of another scam. Like the excise scam, this time on the recommendation of Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the central agency is investigating allegations of corruption in the purchase of low-floor buses for the Delhi Transport Corporation. Even as the Center and the BJP accused the Center and the BJP of conspiracy behind the investigation into the excise scam, the opposition BJP, and Congress leaders alleged that the corruption of the government that came to power in Delhi with the promise of transparency in politics has come to the fore.
Details of the allegation
Allegations against the Kejriwal government were that all rules were broken in the process of calling tenders and auctioning while buying 1000 low-floor buses. In June this year, the complaint was submitted to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Saxena. The Lieutenant Governor wants to know the statement of Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on the matter. Given this, Naresh Kumar submitted his report to the Lt. Governor last month. Based on that report, the Deputy Governor recommended the CBI investigate the entire incident.
Allegedly, the appointment of transport minister Kailash Gahlot in the Kejriwal government as the chairman of the tender procurement committee that invited tenders for buying the buses through the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was ‘premeditated’. It has also been alleged that Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) was appointed as a management consultant to ‘facilitate’ irregularities in the procurement of buses.
The complaint also said that tenders for procurement of 1,000 low floor bs-4 and bs6 buses in 2019, procurement of bs6 buses in March 2020, and annual maintenance contracts were also violated. The report submitted by the Chief Secretary to the Deputy Governor on August 19 regarding these allegations also mentioned several ‘irregularities’. The complaint said that the tender committee of DIMTS and DTC did not evaluate the tenders properly. Earlier, a committee headed by retired IAS officer O P Agarwal, formed to look into the allegations, had accused the Kejriwal government of irregularities in tendering and procurement procedures in its report submitted in August last year.
The CBI is already conducting a preliminary-stage investigation into contracts related to the purchase and annual maintenance of these buses. Meanwhile, the Lt. Governor has also authorized the CBI to frame new charges.
Statement from the AAP government
The AAP government has termed this order of the Deputy Governor as politically motivated. The Kejriwal government said, “The bus was never bought and the tender was canceled. Delhi needs an educated Lt. Governor. This man does not know what he is signing. The Lt. Governor himself has several serious corruption allegations. He is conducting these investigations to divert attention. No investigation has yielded any results till now. After earlier complaints against the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and Satyendra Jain, this time he has complained against a fourth minister.”