Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday said she was prepared to be the Congress’ CM candidate in Uttar Pradesh if the party wanted her to do so.
Speaking on the arrest of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary, Rajendra Kumar, by the CBI, Dikshit said the investigating agency must have found some information in its probe to take him into custody.
Kumar is accused of favouring a private firm during Dikshit’s tenure as Delhi CM and giving out contracts worth almost R50 crore without any tenders.
“I don’t think the arrest was politically aggravated. Kumar has also worked with our government but in our tenure we did not receive any complaint against him to brand him as a corrupt or an honest officer,” she said.
The CBI had first raided Kumar’s office in December 2015, sparking a blowback from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and leading to Kejriwal’s infamous “coward and psychopath” tweet about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Monday too, after the arrest, deputy CM Manish Sisodia lashed out at the Centre, saying the investigation was happening at its behest.
“The central government is targeting Kumar only because of his association with the CM and the support AAP is getting in Goa and Punjab,” Sisodia said.
Dikshit called the charges of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) chairperson Kapil Mishra, on her alleged involvement in the Rs400-crore water tanker scam, as a ‘a politically motivated move’.
Mishra on Monday said that the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) has been unnecessarily questioning him and protecting Dikshit.
“I would not like to interfere with any kind of investigation. But it all seems to be politically motivated,” Dikshit said.
She said the AAP-led government was trying to pin the blame of their non-performance on all the irrelevant things. The 78-year-old Congress leader said that during AAP’s rule, there has not been any development in the city.
“I wish there was a change to talk about. If there has been any at all, it has been sliding down. AAP made luring promises but none have seen light. We have governed Delhi for 15 years but we never faced such severe problems with the Centre. Yes, there were a few but as a responsible government you learn how to deal with it.”
Without dwelling much into her name being proposed as the party’s face in UP, she said people should not discount the Congress as a contender yet.
“We have always based our elections on performance and development. I am the daughter-in-law of UP and am connected to the place. We will have to wait for a formal announcement from the party,” she said.