New flashpoint in the probe into the purchase of buses in AAP Vs Delhi Lt.

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The Delhi government has hit back saying that the Lt Governor’s decision was politically motivated.

New Delhi:

Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena has approved a probe into the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by the Delhi government, escalating friction with the Aam Aadmi Party government headed by Arvind Kejriwal in the national capital. The Delhi government has hit back saying that the probe was politically motivated and that the Lieutenant-Governor should first clear his name from the corruption charges levelled against him.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, has been tasked to conduct the inquiry into the purchase of 1,000 low-floor buses by Delhi Transport Corporation, officials said.

The decision to hand over the case to the probe agency was taken following a recommendation by chief secretary Naresh Kumar.

The Lieutenant-Governor had received a complaint in June alleging corruption and irregularity in the appointment of the Delhi transport minister as chairman of the committee related to tendering and purchase of buses and the appointment of Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) as the management consultant to allegedly facilitate irregularities in the purchase of the buses.

Following the complaint last year, the tender for bus purchase was cancelled.

The Lieutenant Governor had sent this complaint to the Chief Secretary in July, and had received a report from the Chief Secretary in August, officials said.

In his report, the Chief Secretary pointed to serious discrepancies in the tender process. “There is gross violation of CVC guidelines and general financial rules,” the report said, adding that DIMTS was deliberately made a consultant to hide the discrepancies in the tender process.

The discrepancies were also mentioned in the DTC’s deputy commissioner’s report.

The Delhi government has hit back saying that the Lieutenant Governor’s decision was politically motivated.

“Buses were never purchased, tenders were cancelled. Delhi needs a more educated LG. This man has no clue what he is signing on. LG is facing many serious allegations of corruption. To divert attention, he is making such enquiries. All enquiries so far have yielded no results. After making frivolous complaints against three ministers (CM, Dy CM and Satender Jain), he has now made complaint against fourth minister,” the Delhi government said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged that Mr Saxena misused his position and awarded a contract for interior designing of a Khadi lounge in Mumbai to his daughter when he was the chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

Citing its allegations against Mr Saxena, it said “He should first respond to the allegations of corruption against him. The Lieutenant Governor should first answer the allegations of corruption against himself. The lieutenant governor is accused of committing a scam of Rs 1,400 crore as the chairman of the Khadi Village Industries Commission. During this, he gave the contract to his daughter without tender.”

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