A video played by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirti Azad on Sunday suggested that the Delhi & District Cricket Association gave money to companies that did not exist and were listed under incorrect addresses. He also claimed that office equipment such as printers and laptops were rented at hugely inflated rates, going up to Rs 16,900 each, CNN-IBN reported. Azad said that bills were passed before they were brought to an executive meeting, and tenders were given out at extremely high prices. He added that some bills had figures as high as nine-digits long.
Azad was addressing a press conference in Delhi on Sunday in an attempt to bring to light various corrupt practices at DDCA. The MP, who was accompanied by fellow former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi, put on a 28-minute audio-visual presentation about the agency and contracts it had dealt with. The contents of the video were credited to Wikileaks for India and Hindi newspaper Sun Star. He also presented the video, along with another 10-minute clip to members of the press on a CD.
"Our fight is only against corruption, it is nothing personal," Azad said, though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been established as the main target of the exposé.
Earlier on Sunday, Azad had said that he would expose the corruption in the DDCA, despite warnings from other party members against taking such action. BJP chief Amit Shah had called him on Saturday to dissuade him. Azad has often criticised Jaitley’s handling of the cricketing body. Earlier this year, he had sent a letter to Jaitley outlining complaints and calling for a First Information Report to be launched against the finance minister and other office-bearers of the DDCA.
The DDCA has been mired in allegations of corruption for years. It had failed to submit a balance sheet of its finances from 2013 to the Board of Control for Cricket in India because of allegations of financial impropriety. The DDCA was also accused of defaulting on entertainment tax from 2008 to 2012. A probe being conducted into these tax irregularities is a key issue in the ongoing fracas.
Indian Express reported that transactions within the DDCA were routinely made without the approval of the board of directors or central government, for instance, causing the cost of reconstructing the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium to balloon from Rs 24 crore to Rs 114 crore. Finance Minister Jaitley presided over the DDCA’s affairs from 1999 to 2013, when a majority of the DDCA’s alleged malpractices took place.