New Delhi: No clean chit was ever given to Arun Jaitley for alleged scams in DDCA, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted today even as he chastised BJP for “almost begging” for an apology from AAP for targeting the Finance Minister who he said was “running away” from the investigation initiated by the Delhi Government.
Hitting back, BJP accused Kejriwal of staging “some drama” every day.”He has to stage some drama every day. He can also (question) Obama. The Centre is not against any Commission but only what is permitted under rules and regulations,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Rejecting BJP’s contention that Jaitley’s name did not figure anywhere in the report of a Delhi Government-appointed inquiry committee, Kejriwal and top leadership of AAP spoke in one voice and said the “scam” in DDCA took place when Jaitley was heading it for 13 years till 2013.
Javadekar targeted Kejriwal who asked Jaitley to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry ordered by his government to go into the affairs of DDCA.
BJP has argued that the Delhi government does not have necessary powers to constitute such a Commission.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the mandate of the committee was not to scrutinise role of any individual and that it looked into broader issues in the cricket body by referring to reports of DDCA’s Fact Finding committee, its internal audit, SFIO report and report of a two-judge committee.
“No clean chit ever given by any Delhi government probe. That report confirmed several instances of wrongdoings but did not fix responsibility. It didn’t mention anyone’s name and recommended Enquiry Commission to fix responsibility, which we have done now,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Sisodia posed four questions to Jaitley and BJP and said “Our panel has not named anyone in the report. Does that mean that corruption happened during the period but ghosts did it?
“Why there is so much rush to absolve Jaitley? Why so much pressure? Probe by the Commission of Inquiry has begun yesterday only. Gopal Subramaniam whom we appointed as its chief had given the letter of acceptance yesterday,” Sisodia told reporters.
Referring to certain allegations against DDCA, Sisodia said, “Wasn’t Jaitley the head of DDCA during from 2000 till 2013 when these irregularities happened? When laptops were hired at Rs 16,000 per day when cost of renovation of the the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium escalated to Rs 144 crore from Rs 24 crore.
“The companies that were given contracts in that period had same directors and same addresses. Does not this indicate towards corruption? How did this happen then? Who did it?”
Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Subramanium sent a letter to Kejriwal formally accepting the offer to head the commission of inqury, saying its formation was in tune with provisions in the Constitution. He offered to televise the proceedings of the Commission to ensure transparency.
Subramanium said that in view of the resolution passed by the Delhi Assembly to form the Commission, it was “incumbent” upon the city government to set up the same as the House was a “State legislature for all practical purposes”.
The noted lawyer desisted from making any direct comment on Lt Governor najeeb Jung’s reservations on setting up the commission but made his disagreement clear saying that not setting up the panel would be “contrary” to the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
In a communication to the Centre, Jung had stated that
since the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 empowers only the Centre and state governments to appoint a Commission of Inquiry, Delhi could so only with the concurrence of the Centre, through the LG as it was a Union Territory.
Subramanian said that LG’s “receipt” of information both from the Cabinet and the House indicate that he has “prima facie” consented to the appointment of the Commission.
Sisodia claimed that attempts were afoot to manufacture a “clean image” of Jaitley even before the government- constituted probe panel starts going through the “large-scale” irregularities.
“We just want Jaitley to say whether or not he was the DDCA President till 2013? If yes, why is he running away from probe?” Sisodia asked.
Addressing a press conference, party leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey said that no agency or committee has given a clean chit to Jaitley in the “DDCA scam”. Jaitley had rubbished the allegations levelled by the Kejriwal government.
“It’s amazing that BJP spokespersons are manufacturing clean chits for Jaitley even when the SFIO, two judges committee appointed by the court, Fact Finding Committee of the DDCA have found massive scam in the dealings of the DDCA.
“If there is nothing to hide, why doesn’t Jaitely face the probe and cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Delhi Government?” asked Ashutosh.
He said, “There is an on-going CBI inquiry in the DDCA scam. You (Jaitley) were DDCA President till 2013 and this scam took place when you were at the helm of affairs of the DDCA. How can you claim to have been given a clean chit, when the preliminary enquiry is conducted by the CBI?”
Yesterday, BJP had demanded “public apology” from Kejriwal for levelling allegations against Jaitley on the DDCA issue, saying a report of the city government has found no evidence against the Finance Minister.
Party spokesperson M J Akbar said the DDCA file which Kejriwal made his basis to attack Jaitley over the CBI raid and affairs of the cricket body does not name Jaitley.