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Days after the Chhattarpur shootout, in which liquor baron Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty and his brother Hardeep were gunned down, a fresh controversy has emerged. This one involves Delhi Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Alleging links between Hardeep and Lovely, which helped the former bag government contracts, BJP’s Delhi unit wrote to the Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, demanding a probe into the shootout. The Delhi government rejected the charges of wrongdoing. In his letter to Kumar, Delhi BJP chief Vijendra Gupta alleged that police were not investigating the case “seriously and thoroughly”.
“Hardeep Singh Chadha had links with local politicians like (former) Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and there was alleged collusion between them in the case of contract for cluster bus service in Delhi,” the letter stated.
According to Gupta, Hardeep’s company, AB Grain Spirits Pvt Ltd, was awarded a contract to operate 150 low-floor buses in South Delhi, but only 16 buses were plying on these routes. “It is said that Hardeep had secured the contract of this cluster service (due to) his relations with the Delhi government,” Gupta said.
Sources said M/s Chadha Papers Limited, another company for which Ponty and Hardeep are listed as directors, secured the contract for another cluster bus service.
A Delhi government in a release on Tuesday said the bus clusters were awarded through an open, transparent and competitive bidding process. “Those who qualified the technical criteria and quoted the lowest were approved,” the release said. Another communique from the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) called the accusations baseless and contrary to facts. “It is on record that as much as Rs 1.08 crore have already been imposed on AB Grain Spirits Pvt Ltd as penalty (performance shortfall deductions),” the statement read.
The BJP president also alleged that Hardeep was involved in the affairs of the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) in Delhi because his father-in-law and former chairman of SGPC, Harinder Singh, is the younger brother of Paramjeet Singh Sarna, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. “A few days before the murders there was a fight involving fire-arms in Gurdwara Rakabganj.