The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today alleged massive corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, the DDCA, at a time it was headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The allegation has been denied by Mr Jaitley, the BJP and the DDCA or Delhi and District Cricket Association. “I have had nothing to do with cricket for years. There is not a grain of truth in the allegations against me,” Mr Jaitley said, adding that he would fight the charges politically.
AAP says the CBI raid on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s top bureaucrat Rajender Kumar on Tuesday was the cover for an attempt to take files linked to the alleged DDCA corruption.
“BJP asked Manmohan Singh to resign over collective responsibility. We demand that Modi remove his corrupt minister,” said AAP leader Kumar Vishwas at a press conference.
Mr Jaitley was the president of the DDCA for 13 years till December, 2013.
“This scam was about siphoning off money by creating fake companies between 1999 and 2013 and one year after that. This went on for 15 years,” Mr Vishwas said.
“When we tried to raise this with the Anti-Corruption Branch, it was taken away from us. The Chief Minister’s office was raided. His daily diary was taken up,” he said.
One of the instances of corruption in his stewardship, says AAP, was in the construction of a stadium for which a budget of Rs. 24 crore was decided, but the expense shown was allegedly Rs. 114 crore. “Where did the difference of 90 crore go?” asked AAP’s Raghav Chaddha.
Reading from documents that they said were in the public domain, the party also alleged that there was proxy billing and money laundering.
Mr Jaitley hit back with a blog in which he said that Mr Kejriwal “seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in language that borders on hysteria.” He added: “No personal allegation ever made against me nor did I ever feel the need of contradicting it.”
The BJP came out strongly in Mr Jaitley’s support and ruled out his resignation.
“Today BJP stands resolutely behind Arun Jaitley and publicly condemns attempt by AAP to deflect attention from a corrupt officer working with Kejriwal,” Union Minister Smriti Irani said.