CM house renovation row: Delhi L-G orders probe, directs chief secy to take custody of records
In mounting trouble for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal following reports of alleged misuse of public funds to the tune of Rs 45 crore for the renovation of his official residence, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has ordered a probe into the matter.
The development comes in the wake of Public Works Department (PWD) documents that surfaced earlier this week showing that Rs 45 crore was spent on rebuilding and renovating Kejriwal’s Civil Lines residence during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stating that he had taken cognisance of media reports on the issue, the L-G’s Secretariat, in a written communication to Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on Thursday, directed him to immediately take custody of government records and initiate a probe.
“Hon’ble Lt. Governor, while taking note of these media reports and keeping in view the sensitivity of the issue, has desired that all relevant records in this matter be immediately secured and taken into protective custody,” the communication stated in regard to alleged “gross irregularities committed while carrying out the renovation of No.6 Flag Staff House, Civil Lines,” by the PWD.
After these records are examined, it stated further, the chief secretary would be required to submit a factual report on the matter within 15 days.
Welcoming the move, Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said the Rs 45 crore expenditure was the tip of the iceberg and urged Kejriwal to step up and tender an apology while there was still time. “The misappropriation of funds will go up to Rs 100 crore to Rs 200 crore soon enough, given the fact that there is large-scale expansion of the CM’s estate which is ongoing,” Khurana alleged.
“What you spent on personal luxury was the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. CM Kejriwal, you have to answer to the people. You should step up to take responsibility and come clean on how much you have spent. You will have to apologise,” he added.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused the BJP of being behind a purported leaking of documents in a bid to escape discussing “serious issues facing the country” while the latter has consistently scaled up its attack on the AAP government over it.