Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the alleged scam of Rs 2,500-crore in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled municipal corporations was larger than the Commonwealth Games one, reported PTI.
“It’s a very painful day as we are discussing the biggest scam in MCD,” Kejriwal said during a special session of the Delhi Assembly. “Rs 2,500 crore scam is bigger than the Commonwealth Games scam. Even people on the street say there is corruption in MCD and the same people say the Delhi government is honest.”
The scam around the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in 2010 had attracted a great deal of media coverage, especially after facilities for sportspersons were found unsatisfactory. The Central Bureau of Investigation had investigated the scam and filed a chargesheet, naming former Union minister Suresh Kalmadi and others, in 2011.
Kalmadi was accused of giving out inflated contracts for the Games, including one worth Rs 141 crore to Swiss Timing for equipment. The deal was inflated by Rs 95 crore. Other colleagues of Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma, were also arrested in connection with the case. Sheila Dikshit, who was Delhi chief minister at the time, had refuted allegations of corruption against her government.
On Friday, the Delhi chief minister claimed that scams of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore happen every year in municipal corporations while giving requisite permissions for buildings. “Rs 2,500 crore could have been used to pay salaries of sanitation workers, doctors and other employees of corporations,” he said. “It could have been used to make 12,500 hospital beds or 7,500 Mohalla Clinics.”
Kejriwal asked Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri to call for a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the alleged scam. He also called the BJP’s 15 years of governance in Delhi municipal corporations as the “black era”. “The MCDs even went to the courts over funds but they have said all dues have been paid,” he added.
Mayors and local body representatives of the BJP have been staging a sit-in protest and indefinite hunger strike outside Kejriwal’s residence, demanding Rs 13,000 crore for civic bodies, which they claim, the state government owes them. The protest entered its 12th day on Friday.
The Delhi High Court on Friday said that the protestors outside Kejriwal’s residence should be evicted when the state disaster management authority has prohibited political and other gatherings in the city till December 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.