Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “unconstitutionally exercising control over the city’s bureaucracy” through Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. He further said that the saffron party is forcing bureaucrats to write letters against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by “controlling” them.
Sisodia made the comments after the Delhi government’s publicity wing, the Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP), asked CM Kejriwal to reimburse over Rs 163 crore spent on advertisements that were allegedly published in the garb of government advertisements. The notice said that it was mandatory for the ruling party in Delhi to pay the whole amount within 10 days. The notice created a political row between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Opposition BJP.
BJP unconstitutionally exercising control: Sisodia
“The BJP has, over the last 7 years, been unconstitutionally exercising control over the city’s bureaucracy through the L-G. Today, Alice Vaz, an IAS officer, is threatening Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to pay Rs 163 crore under pressure from the BJP,” Sisodia alleged.
In a series of tweets, Sisodia said, “Look at the illegitimate use of the unconstitutional control over officers working in Delhi — BJP has asked Delhi government’s Directorate of Information and Publicity Secretary Alice Vaz (IAS) to issue a notice to recover the cost of advertisements given in outside states from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”
“In newspapers in Delhi, advertisements of several BJP CMs of other states are published and hoardings of their CMs are all over Delhi. Will the costs of those be recovered from BJP CMs? Is it for this reason that BJP wants to keep unconstitutional control over Delhi officers?” Sisodia asked.
BJP demands AAP’s account be seized
Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP demanded that the bank accounts of the AAP be seized and money should be recovered from the party leaders.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said at a press conference that the AAP used government funds for its own publicity, and now they have been asked to reimburse it and this is the reason why AAP leaders are agitated.
“The BJP demands that AAP’s bank account should be seized and the money should be recovered from the bank accounts of the AAP leaders who used the funds for their publicity,” he said.
“The AAP wasted the taxpayers’ money. The fund which was supposed to be used for the development of the poor, has been used for the publicity of the party and their leaders. They also tried seeking a stay on this recovery order but the High Court did not entertain them,” Tiwari alleged.
The development of the recovery notice came after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on December 21 last year directed the chief secretary to recover Rs 97 crore from AAP citing a court-appointed Committee on Content Regulation of Government Advertising (CCRGA) recommendations which ruled that government funds were misused for ads.