Infighting within the Delhi Congress came to fore at the Assembly on Monday when the Delhi government, already fending attacks from the Opposition regarding alleged wrongdoings in Commonwealth Games works, was accused of corruption by one of its own heavyweight MLAs.
Kalkaji MLA Subhash Chopra, also a former president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and a speaker of the Assembly, alleged that officials of the Delhi Jal Board—headed by chief minister Sheila Dikshit as chairperson—were clearing fake bills produced by contractors who were awarded DJB works and that the money involved went up to several crores.
As “evidence”, Chopra tabled in the House some documents which he called “fake bills” that had been received through Right to Information Act from the DJB. He sought a probe into it.
Congress insiders termed this uncharacteristic attack on the chief minister as an expression of disappointment for not landing a ministry berth in the recent Delhi Cabinet reshuffle. Chopra was seen as a forerunner among the probables.
“Unfortunately, these things are not coming to the notice of the chief minister. These bills show that each contractor has produced several bills for the same work under various fictitious names and got paid from the DJB,” Chopra said.
In reply, Dikshit said the documents would be examined and the matter probed.
She was later seen instructing DJB CEO Ramesh Negi who was present in the officials’ gallery in the Assembly.
The documents, accessed by HT, are around 300 sheets of papers, each containing a bill raised by various DJB contractors against purchase of equipment like tubewells, pipes of various diameters.
Each bunch represents one company and comes with an index containing the alleged discrepancies in each bill like fictitious purchases, overcharging of equipment, double billing for same equipment and even fictitious suppliers.
Chopra represents a generation of Congress leaders considered the “old guard” in Delhi politics in 1980s and the ’90s.
The DJB will check the veracity of the allegations and submit a report within a week.