Kejriwal bungalow controversy: CBI registers PE, AAP says nothing will come out in probe

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 27-09-2023 21:15 IST | Created: 27-09-2023 21:09 IST
Kejriwal bungalow controversy: CBI registers PE, AAP says nothing will come out in probe
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The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry to look into alleged ''irregularities and misconduct'' by unidentified public servants of the Delhi Government in connection with the construction of a new official residence for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, officials said on Wednesday.

The ruling Aam Admi Party in Delhi said it welcomes the probe and claimed that ''as with all earlier enquiries in all other matters so far, nothing will come out in this''. ''It is a desperate attempt of the BJP to malign AAP,'' the party alleged.

The CBI has registered the PE against unidentified public servants of the Delhi government, the officials said.

The preliminary enquiry is the first step to ascertain if the allegations have prima facie material to proceed with a regular FIR.

In its letter to the PWD on Monday, the anti-corruption branch of the CBI has demanded records related to the approval and recommendation of its officials related to alteration, tender documents and bids submitted by contractors.

It has sought documents related to approval of building plans and requests from the client for superior specifications like modular kitchen, marble flooring and other ornamental work, they said.

It also asked the PWD to deposit records related to payments made to the contractor AK Builders and consultant to the project in addition to several other relevant documents.

Reports had surfaced in April claiming that a total of Rs 44.78 crore against a sanctioned amount of Rs 43.70 crore was spent on ''addition/alternation'' of Kejriwal's government accommodation on 6, Flagstaff Road in Civil Lines.

The money was spent in six tranches between September 9, 2020, to June 2022, documents showed.

The BJP and the Congress had attacked the Aam Admi Party for the alleged extravagant expenditure on the CM's residence, citing Kejriwal's promises to live in an ordinary house like a common man once he comes to power.

The AAP rejected the allegation of any wrongdoing and accused the BJP of ''using all its power to finish AAP''. It alleged that the development was part of the BJP's efforts to stop the Arvind Kejriwal-led party from working for the people.

''This is the reason why the country's best health and education ministers Satyendar Jain and Manish Sisodia were put behind bars,'' it alleged, ''The BJP is using all its power to finish the AAP,'' the party alleged.

There is ''only one party which is AAP that seeks votes on the basis of doing good work in the fields of health and education but the BJP does not want that the poor people should have good education and excellent health facilities,'' it said.

The Aam Admi Party said the BJP was now trying to corner Arvind Kejriwal by deploying all the investigative agencies.

''They have lodged and investigated more than 50 cases against Kejriwal but nothing has come out of it. Nothing will come out of this (CBI enquiry) also,'' it said.

Kejriwal's official residence had been built in 1942 and the roof had collapsed thrice, Aam Admi Party MP Sanjay Singh had said at that time.

Following the roof collapse incidents, the Public Works Department (PWD) suggested a new house be built and this was done, he had said, claiming Rs 30 crore was spent on the rebuilt house.

Kejriwal has been occupying the official residence- at 6 Flagstaff Road in the Civil Lines area after becoming chief minister in 2015.

It also has the chief minister's camp office spread over a 5,000 square metre area, officials had said.

A senior PWD official had said, ''It was not renovation and a new structure has come up in place of the old structure. His camp office is also there. The expenditure is around Rs 44 crore but what is to be noted is that the old structures have been replaced with new ones.'' According to documents, the total expenditure included Rs 11.30 crore on interior decoration, Rs 6.02 crore on stone and marble flooring, Rs one crore on interior consultancy and Rs 2.58 crore on electrical fittings and appliances.

An amount of Rs 2.85 crore was spent on fire fighting system, Rs 1.41 crore on wardrobe and accessories fitting and Rs 1.1 crore on kitchen appliances.

A separate amount of Rs 8.11 crore of the sanctioned amount of Rs 9.99 crore was spent on the camp office of the chief minister at his official residence, it showed.

Accusing the BJP of political vendetta, the Aam Aadmi Party said, ''No matter how many enquiries BJP gets launched, Kejriwal will continue to fight in the interest of the common people. Kejriwal has vowed to make India the number one country in the world and he will do so. He is ready to pay any price for it.''

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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