The Centre has asked the Comptroller Auditor General of India to conduct a special audit into the alleged irregularities and violations in the reconstruction of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official bungalow in Delhi, PTI reported.
According to officials at the Raj Nivas, the direction was issued after the Ministry of Home Affairs took note of a letter sent by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on May 24.
In the letter, Saxena had pointed out “gross and prima facie financial irregularities” in the reconstruction of Kejriwal’s residence “in the name of “addition/alteration”.
The governor added that the “irregularities” in the reconstruction were first highlighted by the media following which the Delhi chief secretary was asked to submit a report. The reports were submitted on April 27 and May 12, according to PTI.
In the report, the chief secretary claimed that the initial cost for construction work at Kejriwal’s home was projected between Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore, but was “inflated from time to time” till it reached Rs 52 crore, reported The Indian Express.
“Initially the proposal was to provide additional accommodation in the residence of the chief minister, however later on the proposal was approved by the minister for an entirely new construction after the demolition of the existing building,” it said.
Action shows BJP’s ‘desperation’: AAP
On its part, Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party said that the move “reeks of desperation” as the Bharatiya Janata Party government anticipates a defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“As far as the CAG inquiry into the reconstruction expenses of the chief minister’s residence, it is important to note that it was already conducted last year, revealing no evidence of financial irregularities,” the party said in a statement, according to PTI.
It stated that the decision to initiate the same investigation again reflects the BJP’s “frustration, paranoia, and authoritarian tendencies”.
The BJP, the statement said, was also troubled by its successive electoral defeats in Delhi Assembly polls.
“Conducting a CAG inquiry is a prerogative of an elected government, and by interfering in the affairs of the Delhi government, the central government is violating constitutional principles,” the Aam Aadmi Party said.