The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday questioned the neutrality of the Centre-appointed panel that indicted the Delhi government for allegedly “splurging” exchequer’s money on advertisements and violating Supreme Court guidelines.
Party spokesperson Ashutosh described the panel’s ruling as a “ploy to defame” the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation. Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain targeted the BJP-ruled municipal corporations saying they, too, were violating these norms.
The AAP leaders said the Delhi government will explain its stand before the Supreme Court.
The three-member committee, headed by former chief election commissioner B B Tandon, had been constituted by the information & broadcasting ministry on the Supreme Court’s directions to address issues related to content regulation in government advertising.
The panel comprised adman Piyush Pandey and journalist Rajat Sharma.
The apex court directed the Centre to constitute the panel on a complaint filed by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken against the Delhi government’s advertisement blitzkrieg. Ashutosh said the committee’s remarks were an example of the Congress and the BJP coming together.
“The committee required people of impeccable neutrality and those who could do their job without showing any bias or partiality. But two members of the panel are either linked to the BJP or are beneficiaries of Modiji. So, how can one expect a fair report?” Ashutosh said.
Ashutosh refrained from attacking Tandon but alleged that one of the two other panel members is linked to the BJP since his college days while the other chalked out a campaign for Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
In its report, the committee came down heavily on the AAP government, saying it had splurged exchequer’s money on advertisements projecting Kejriwal and his party in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines and asked the ruling party to reimburse the money.
Speaking to reporters, Satyendar Jain said AAP government has not violated any norms set by the apex court. “One can clearly see posters of BJP leaders on the big advertisement panels of the MCD across the city, but nobody is there to question them,” Jain said.