The expenses made to renovate Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s bungalow will be probed by the country’s top auditor, sources said today, after a month-long controversy. The Union Home Ministry has ordered the audit following a letter from Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena alleging gross irregularities, sources said. Denying allegations of irregularities, Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has accused the Center of targeting political opponents.
“The order for a CAG inquiry into the expenditure in the reconstruction of the Chief Minister’s residence is exposing the desperation, cynicism and dictatorship of the BJP. Frustrated by the successive electoral defeats in Delhi, the BJP is plotting not only to defame the honest government of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, but also to grab power here from behind the scenes,” read a statement from AAP.
The government, AAP added, should instead focus on the multiple scams taking place in BJP-ruled states.
Sources said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, or CAG, will conduct the “special audit” into the “administrative and financial” irregularities in the renovation.
The Lieutenant Governor’s letter had alleged gross financial irregularities in the reconstruction of the building, located in central Delhi’s Civil Lines.
To start with, in the name of renovation — usually involving just addition or alteration — a full-fledged construction and re-construction was carried out by the Public Works Department, the LG has alleged.
The PWD had not obtained sanctions for the work, including the demolition of a pre-existing building. It had not even confirmed ownership of the premises, sources said.
The cost — from an estimated 15-20 crore — had gone up to Rs 53 crore, the LG had written.
The BJP’s Sambit Patra had earlier alleged that Mr Kejriwal’s residence had been fitted with expensive marble from Vietnam, pre-fabricated wooden walls and curtains that cost lakhs of rupees each. One curtain alone costs more than Rs 7.94 lakh, he said.
AAP had alleged that the accommodation earmarked for Mr Kejriwal was unfit to live in. Party spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar had shared a video of dilapidated rooms where plaster was coming off the walls and a ceiling that suffered massive seepage.
80 करोड़ खर्च दिया। गुजरात और मध्यप्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री अपने लिए 200 करोड़ के हवाई जहाज़ ले लेते हैं। मजाल है कोई चैनल इस पर डिबेट कर ले।
अरविंद केजरीवाल जी को 1942 में बना 1 एकड़ से भी छोट ा बँगला एलोट किया जिसकी छत्ते 3 बार गिर… pic.twitter.com/GJZkSp60rD
— Priyanka Kakkar (@PKakkar_) April 25, 2023
“The Prime Minister, who calls himself a fakir, is getting a house built for himself with Rs 500 crore. Rs 90 crore was spent in renovating the house where he is living now,” AAP’s Sanjay Singh had said.
Today, AAP said the Central agencies should investigate the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, the Chanda scam in Ayodhya Ram temple and the scam of the Chief Minister of Assam instead.