Delhi LG to sue AAP leaders over 'false' graft charges
Delhi's Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena, on Wednesday, threatened to sue the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for defamation for corruption charges hurled at him. The LG said that he may sue MLAs Atishi Marlena and Saurabh Bharadwaj for "highly defamatory and false" corruption allegations. The development comes after AAP's overnight dharna at the Delhi Assembly earlier this week, where they demanded L-G's suspension.
- The BJP and AAP have been embroiled in a scathing political battle over Delhi's liquor policy.
- BJP hurled corruption allegations at AAP, but the latter claimed that the LG had engaged in corruption as the Khadi commission chairman.
- It was after a report by the LG on the liquor policy that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Deputy-CM Manish Sisodia this month.
Refuting AAP's allegations as a "figment of their imagination", Saxena said, "This has been the hallmark of [Arvind] Kejriwal to shoot and scoot." A statement from the LG office denied the corruption allegations and called them "defamatory" and "blatantly false". "The LG...has decided to take legal action against them so that AAP does not get away," the statement read.
According to AAP, as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman in 2016, Saxena allegedly pressured employees to exchange demonetized currency worth Rs. 1,400 crore. The party has also demanded a CBI probe into the matter. "There should be an independent inquiry," MLA Bharadwaj said. The LG will also take action against Jasmine Shah of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi.
The LG also revealed that an official inquiry took place in 2016 when the office came to know that "certain demonetized notes were deposited in the account of Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan" and four people were suspended. The CBI found that notes worth Rs. 17 lakh were deposited and only two officers were involved. The case is pending in court, the LG said.
According to News18, the CBI on Tuesday revealed that only two cashiers of Khadi Gram Udyog Bhawan were involved in changing currency notes after demonetization. The agency had filed a charge-sheet in 2017 for depositing demonetized currency notes in Khadi's bank accounts. "The head cashiers conspired to keep new currency notes and derived pecuniary benefits by corrupt and illegal means," the CBI FIR said.
Meanwhile, AAP MLAs visited the CBI office to demand a probe against the BJP's 'Operation Lotus' or the alleged attempt to topple the Delhi government. "We are demanding an investigation into the sources of Rs. 6,300 crore spent by BJP on 'Operation Lotus' across the country," Marlena said. Last week, the party claimed their MLAs were offered Rs. 20 crore to switch teams.