NEW DELHI: Amid the tussle between AAP and BJP, AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak has accused Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena of having indulged in corruption. Pathak claimed in Delhi legislative Assembly that when Vinai Kumar Saxena was chairman of the Khadi commission, he forced his employees to exchange unaccounted cash after the 2016 demonetisation.
“When he was Khadi Village Industries Commission chairman, he exchanged demonetised notes by pressuring his cashier. In the Delhi branch alone, Rs 22 lakh were exchanged. There are 7,000 such branches across the country, meaning there was a scam of Rs 1,400 crore,” said AAP.
AAP leaders are seeking the resignation of L-G Saxena and they have demanded a CBI inquiry in the matter. A source near the L-G’s office told The Sunday Guardian: “First of all, Rs 22 lakh were not exchanged, the real amount was Rs 17 lakh 20 thousand.”
After two days of the allegation, L-G Saxena broke his silence and said AAP is trying diversionary tactics to stop him. In a series of tweets, Saxena said “I called for good governance, zero tolerance to corruption and better services for the people of Delhi. But unfortunately, Hon’ble CM Arvind Kejriwalji in desperation has resorted to diversionary tactics and false accusations.”
He further said that these tactics will not deter him from doing his duty. “In 2017, CBI enquired about this matter and two people were charge-sheeted, later action was taken on them and they were sacked from their services. Currently, AAP is fabricating a false narrative for their political gain,” a source said.
“These Rs 17 lakh were only exchanged in one centre and AAP is saying this was done in 7,000 centres, to inflate the figure and make it look like a scam of Rs 1,400 crore, which is a lie,” he added. According to CBI in its probe, it did not come across the role of anyone else apart from two cashiers at the Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan who allegedly converted Rs 17 lakh of old currency to new notes after demonetisation. According to L-G office, Saxena will take legal action against AAP leaders, including MLAs Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj, and Durgesh Pathak for “false” corruption charges against him.
The School Scam
Amid this tussle, a new allegation was floated against the AAP government. According to the Delhi BJP unit, the Delhi government indulged in corruption in the construction of new classrooms by giving tenders to 29 selected contractors. “A classroom which should be built at the cost of Rs 7.5 lakh was made in Rs 27 lakh,” BJP spokesperson Shubhendu Shekhar Awasthi said. The L-G has sought a report from the Chief Secretary over the delay of two years to take action on this issue.
Gaurav Bhatia of the BJP alleged that Kejriwal did not take any note of the report submitted over two years ago by the Central Vigilance Commission, which highlighted irregularities in the construction of classrooms in government schools in Delhi. “Even 800-900 toilets were counted in classrooms, to increase the number of classrooms; you can imagine at what level corruption was done,” the BJP leader said.