The Delhi government on Monday said the chief minister and her cabinet colleagues only took policy decisions during the CWG Games. The CAG report has indicted the government due to lapses in supervision which led to irregularities in bidding process for the Games work.
Defending Sheila Dikshit, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh on Monday said the cabinet took collective decisions on the basis of Cabinet notes prepared by the heads of the respective departments. “Nowhere has the chief minister, any minister or any political functionary been indicted in the CAG report,” Singh said.
However, he was quick to add that he was not trying to blame the bureaucracy or the engineers in various departments for any lapses.
“The CAG has prepared an audit report. It is now for the public accounts committee (PAC) to consider it. We will give our reply to PAC and action will be taken if it finds anyone guilty,” Singh added.
Tabled in Parliament last Friday, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed fingers at the award of contracts and quality of work carried out by various departments under the Delhi government and autonomous bodies like the DDA, MCD and NDMC during Commonwealth Games.
The CAG report mentioned that chief minister Sheila Dikshit took active interest in the installation of imported luminaries along Delhi roads, which were procured at far higher prices, causing a loss of R31.01 crore to the state exchequer. The contracts for streetscaping were also awarded at exorbitant rates which led to wasteful expenditure of R101.02 crore, the audit report had highlighted.
Singh’s was the third press conference called by Delhi government in the past five days to defend Dikshit.
Earlier, chief secretary Praveen Kumar Tripathi had convened two press conferences in the light of media reports on Dikshit’s involvement in irregularities during the Games.
Early Monday morning, the Cabinet had held a closed door meeting in which all aspects of the CAG report, media’s involvement and the opposition’s anti-government campaign was discussed.
Later in the day, Dikshit chose to send her youngest minister Arvinder Singh—known for his fire-fighting skills—to put the government’s point of view before the media.
On Monday, BJP leaders — including leader of the Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Singh and 23 other MLAs — marched to the Delhi Secretariat and demanded the “corrupt” chief minister’s resignation.
In retaliation, Singh said the Opposition was trying to “unnecessary politicise” the issue. “There is no mention of the word ‘corruption’ or ‘scam’ in the report. If governments start resigning on the basis of CAG reports, every March one or the other state governments or even Central government will have to be changed,” Singh said.