New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Friday directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct a probe into the corruption and collusion of Transport Department officials with the auto financers, unauthorized dealers and touts at the Burari Transport Authority, sources at LG house said.
The direction came in wake of the Delhi High Court’s order on a Criminal Writ Petition filed by several Auto Rickshaw Unions of the National Capital which alleged large-scale corruption in the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the consequent harassment of the auto-rickshaw drivers in Delhi.
Meanwhile, a fresh round of scuffle began between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and LG Saxena on Sunday (July 24), after the CM skipped a pre-decided combined program of Tree Plantation drive at Asola Bhatti Mines.
The said program of Tree Plantation corresponding with the ‘Van Mahotsav’, was to be undertaken jointly by the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Minister.
“One is left to wonder if recommending a CBI inquiry into an apparently illegal Excise Policy is taking the focus of the CM away from Delhi’s environmental concerns,” LG sources had said on Sunday.
However, the Delhi government sources have claimed that because the government programme was turned into a political BJP programme, the Chief Minister and other ministers decided not to attend the event after Delhi Police forcefully took over the stage of Van Mohatsav before the programme.
Kejriwal on July 22 had skipped the weekly meeting called by Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, according to sources, to which the Aam Aadmi Party sources alleged that the LG had “skipped” a similar meeting on July 8.
Earlier in the day, today, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal arrived at the residence of Lt Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena for the weekly meeting which held in a “cordial environment”.
“The meeting was held in a cordial environment. Several issues were discussed – water, cleanliness, electricity and so on. We will work together as we have always done so far. We may have a difference of opinions on various issues… He is LG and I am CM– we may have different opinions on issues but we’ll sort out those issues through discussions and work together,” CM Kejriwal said after the weekly meeting adding that it is important for Delhi that the CM and LG work together.
After the Delhi Lieutenant Governor denied permission for Kejriwal’s Singapore visit to attend the World Cities Summit, the AAP convener said he differs with the LG’s advice and would go ahead with the visit.
Notably, Saxena also recommended a CBI probe into the alleged violations of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s contentious new excise policy including “deliberate and gross procedural lapses” made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to “provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees.”
The LG office said that Sisodia also extended “undue financial favours” to the liquor licensees much after the tenders had been awarded and thus caused huge losses to the exchequer.
Sisodia’s role is under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the year 2021-22, officials in the Lieutenant-Governor’s office told ANI.
The excise policy was passed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta wave of Covid pandemic in 2021.
However, the Delhi CM dismissed the allegations and said that the Centre “cannot” see AAP rising to the national level and thus is “resorting to such measures”.
A report on July 8 by the Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009, and Delhi Excise Rules 2010. (ANI)