AAP spent Rs 11 lakh on food bills during anniversary celebrations: BJP
The BJP on Saturday alleged that a Delhi government company had paid exorbitant bills for catering services on the occasion of the first anniversary celebration of the government at Kejriwal’s residence last year.delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2017 23:32 IST
The BJP on Saturday turned the heat on the Aam Aadmi Party, demanding the resignation of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for misusing public money. It alleged that a Delhi government company had paid exorbitant bills for catering services on the occasion of the first anniversary celebration of the government at Kejriwal’s residence last year.
The BJP produced documents claiming that a five-star hotel presented to the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation Limited a bill of Rs 11 lakh for serving food to 80 people at the event on February 11 and 12. “The average cost per plate for the February 11 celebration was Rs 12,800. For the next day, it went up to Rs 16,000,” Union power minister Piyush Goyal told reporters at the BJP headquarters on Saturday.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, refuted the allegations with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia saying that the BJP was trying to tarnish the party’s image ahead of the April 23 municipal corporation elections in the city.
In a series of tweets, Sisodia said that he had himself refused to sanction the food bill around a year ago and the file had been lying with erstwhile Lieutenant. Governor Najeeb Jung for months.
Earlier in the day, Goyal said that the bill footed by the AAP was a gross misuse of public money and Kejriwal should resign on moral grounds.
Goyal dismissed AAP’s argument that the bills have not been paid as yet. “Once you have eaten food and the company has billed you for that, there is no way to avoid the payment,” he argued. Goyal also referred to a news report claiming a whooping Rs 1 crore was spent to serve refreshment in the office and residence of the chief minister and his six ministers.
The Union minister mocked the AAP for its pre-election promise of not taking government facilities and accused the AAP leaders now of indulging in impropriety, such as appointing relatives to government positions. “Is this something for which you got elected?” Goyal asked Kejriwal, adding “You must resign.”
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, alleged that the catering arrangements for the lunches at Kejriwal’s residence were made by a leading five-star hotel. The permissible limit under financial rules is Rs 1,250 per person for hosting a lunch in non-five star hotels, he said.
“No formalities or financial rules were followed before placing the orders. Two bills were raised by DTTDC for a total amount of Rs 11,04,357,” Gupta said, showing the copies of the bills in a press conference.