The Congress on Friday accused Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government of “compromising national security” by giving the contract to install 1.5 lakh closed-circuit television cameras in the city to a Chinese government company, PTI reported. The Delhi government has planned the CCTV camera project to enhance the safety of women in the city.

Congress state president Ajay Maken called for the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing his government of a “Rs 571-crore CCTV camera scam” involving “kickbacks”. He said his party would hold protests outside Kejriwal’s home if he does not resign by Sunday.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, requesting his intervention in executing the CCTV project. He accused Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal of “obstructing” the project even after a budget had been approved for it and tenders finalised. Baijal has formed a committee to prepare a framework for the installation of CCTV cameras, he said.

Kejriwal said the tender had been given to Bharat Electronics Limited – a claim the Congress countered.

Congress’ allegations

“Our direct allegation is that due to petty corruption, the Arvind Kejriwal government compromised with national security by giving a contract for installing 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras in Delhi to Hikvision, which is a Chinese government company,” Maken said at a press conference.

Maken also presented the transcript of a conversation, in which an official of Prama Hikvision India, in conversation with a Delhi Congress leader, purportedly accepted that his company had received an order from the state government’s Public Works Department to install the CCTV cameras.

The official, Chandra Shekhar, told PTI after the press conference: “We are a subsidiary of Hikvision in India. I do not have any idea about the role of the Chinese government involving Hikvision. We have been doing business with various government departments for the past 10 years and we have not faced any such problem before.”

According to Maken, the government first floated a tender for the installation of CCTV cameras in November, but rejected it, and then floated another in January to help the company get the deal.

“The AAP dispensation is claiming that the contract for CCTV camera installation has been given to public sector unit Bharat Electronics Limited,” he said. “But, the first tender was rejected because Hikvision was not in the vendor list of BEL. Later on, BEL’s list was updated in fourth quarter of 2017-18 and Prama Hikvision India Pvt Ltd was included in it along with other vendors.”

Kejriwal’s letter

In his letter, Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order Baijal to immediately allow the installation of the CCTV cameras as it was “related to women’s safety”. He also requested an appointment to discuss the matter.

“You yourself said in London that there should be no politics over women’s safety,” Kejriwal wrote. “Now, your own lieutenant general is doing the same. This is not right.”

Kejriwal pointed out various instances of Baijal’s interference in the government’s decisions, and said he was “blocking good governance”.