Probe 'Rs 1300-cr scam' in building classrooms of Delhi govt schools, suggests vigilance directorate

NewsDrum Desk
25 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) The vigilance directorate has recommended a probe by a "specialised agency" into an alleged scam in the construction of classrooms in Delhi government schools, prompting the BJP to demand the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Reacting to it, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the BJP headquarters "writes a script" and issues it to the media.  A report of the Delhi government's vigilance directorate recommending the probe into the "Rs 1,300-crore scam" has been submitted to the chief secretary, official sources said.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), in a report dated February 17, 2020, highlighted "glaring irregularities" in the construction of over 2,400 classrooms in Delhi government schools by the Public Works Department (PWD).

The commission had sent the report to the Delhi government's vigilance directorate seeking its comments on the matter in February 2020.

"The directorate however kept sitting on the report for two-and-half years until LG (Lieutenant Governor) V K Saxena asked the chief secretary to inquire into the delay in August this year and submit a report," a source said.

The vigilance directorate has also recommended "fixing responsibilities" of the officials concerned of the Education Department and PWD who were involved in the "bungling" of nearly Rs 1,300 crore, the sources said.  Responding to queries on the report, Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, said the BJP headquarters "writes a script" and issues it to the media.

"There is no FIR, no charge sheet and I was reading in the news that the report has been sent to the chief secretary and the media, but not to the education minister," he said.   Latching onto the issue, the BJP said the vigilance directorate's report shows Kejriwal is only "worried about black money flowing to him and not about children's education".

At a press conference here, BJP's national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia demanded that Kejriwal either dismiss his corrupt ministers or tender resignation.

He alleged "corrupt Gabbar" Kejriwal colluded with private company "Babbar and Babbar Associates" to construct classrooms without floating a tender, violating the guidelines of the CVC and the PWD.

The Delhi government increased the scope of construction work in schools without floating any tender. They constructed toilets in schools and counted them as classrooms, Bhatia alleged.

"He (Kejriwal) is not worried about the future of the children. He only worries about one thing -- black money that is flowing to him," he alleged.

"People have come to know that you do not have a spine and that you won't dismiss corrupt ministers. Either you give an explanation or tender a resignation. You cannot escape," Bhatia said.

The BJP leader claimed the report shows that the private firm decided the terms and conditions for the construction of classrooms in collusion with the government.

"You did not dismiss the corrupt minister who is in jail. The vigilance report has exposed the corruption in the education department too. The Directorate of Vigilance is part of the Delhi government. Can your weak shoulders lift this burden? Can you dismiss the corrupt minister?" Bhatia said.

"Kejriwal Ji, why did you not act on the report? Is it because your minister looted public money on your direction?" he asked.   "Why did you not float a tender if the number of classrooms had to be increased? How can the representative of the private firm be so close to you that he is taking calls on construction work sitting in the room of the minister?" the BJP leader asked.

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