Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani had called up Ghaziabad mayor Damyanti Goel in 2008 to help key Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal in a municipal matter.
Under the umbrella of Kaushambi Apartments Residents' Welfare Association (KARWA), Kejriwal wanted transfer of some of the municipal services provided by Ghaziabad Municipal Corpo-ration to KARWA, as the corporation was allegedly not doing a proper job. Kejriwal lives in Kaushambi area of Ghaziabad.
"As far as I remember, Advaniji called me up and said Arvind Kejriwal is sitting with him and I should speak to him and help him in his efforts," said Damyanti Goel, who belongs to the BJP.
Kejriwal didn't respond to calls and messages from HT in this regard. A key Advani aide said he didn't recall any such conversation.
According to Goel, after getting the call from "Advaniji", she convened a meeting at her house, which was attended by the then Ghaziabad district magistrate and the municipal commissioner Ajay Shankar Pandey. Kejriwal was also present with his team, she said.
The district magistrate felt that some services may be handed over to KARWA on a trial basis for three months. But Pandey pointed out that the Municipal Act had no provision for such an experiment. Then the matter went to the executive committee of the corporation.
The committee rejected the proposal. A letter by Pandey to Arvind Kejriwal also makes it clear that Advani and a few other BJP leaders had recommended transfer of a part of municipal services to KARWA.
Pandey said in the letter he wrote, he stated that the corporation is an autonomous body and these recommendations are not binding on it.